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project: Volcanic Platform year: 2022, type: open international competition program: touristic viewing platform area: 20 m2, architecture: Opposite Office team: Benedikt Hartl, Katarina Marinaki, Maggi Daivditze, Johanna Heim location: IHverfjall, Iceland


A volcano is not only grasped through the sense of sight. Rather, when a volcanic eruption occurs, the other senses are evoked first. Our design focuses on all human senses and tries to recount the eruption of a volcano in an emotional way.

On the one hand, the viewing platform offers the visitor a protected space from wind and weather and offers an unforgettable 360 ° view of the volcanic crater. On the other hand, one can approach the volcano through the five senses in five tiny rooms. Each of the 5 enclosed spaces focuses on a volcanic emotion.




In lightweight aluminum, the platform is prefabricated in 2 container-sized elements. The two elements are delivered with a trailer and by helicopter. A screw foundation is screwed into the volcano on site and the two elements are joined together. A sophisticated support concept diverts the forces in such a way that the entire platform can be supported on just one support. The stiffening and power transmission takes place via 3 horizontal girders, which are attached to the crater rim and act as tension rods. This creates an interesting fragility that is still statically sufficient. Going to the platform becomes an exciting adventure!




On the platform, the volcano can be grasped with all 5 senses. The room of touching is complete dark, small and narrow, that you can only orientate yourself by touching.  You can feel the lava stone on the walls, the lower ceiling and on the floor. In the room of hearing, you hear the bubbling and spitting of the lava. The room is shaped oval and has perforated walls for the best acoustic. The sound is powered by a small photovoltaic system on the roof. In the room of smelling a sulfur stone is placed in the middle, illuminated by a skylight, so that you can concentrated on the volcanic perfume. The heart of the indoor platform is the viewing room which has a long bench to explore the volcanic crater protected form wind and weather.  

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