The Summerhouse, built by Glama Kim Architects in Iceland, sits high atop a ridge overlooking a majestic valley. Nearby to the north, a lake, bordered by craggy peaks, adds a calming blue to the green of foliage and the grey of rock. That granite grey belongs to mountain ranges to the south and west, and the imposing rock face of a cliff to the east. It seems at first that the Summerhouse is too conspicuous—that it stands out too much from the surroundings. But then, realization sets in and you begin to appreciate what the house adds to the scenery. It’s almost as if the house was always meant to be there, that somehow, the ridge, valley, and mountains would be less without the house being there.
Because of the foliage that surrounds the house, it looks to be more treehouse than traditional house. It feels like something Tolkien would have added to his stories of Middle Earth. Three rectangular structures constitute the house. The main view faces south, taking in the spectacular view. The concrete is black visual concrete, which blends with the natural stone of the area. Large, recessed windows open the home to take in the view and to allow in sunlight. What isn’t concrete is clad in cedar wood. The central block holds the kitchen and living room, while wings of the house provide sleeping and guest accommodations. When not distracted by the views, occupants will find plenty to see within the house.