January 31, 2015

2014 BOY Winner: Gallery/Museum 2

A volcano soaring 4,900 feet above sea level, 70 miles from Reykjavik, fearsome Mount Hekla periodically blankets its rural surroundings with cinders and rocks by the ton. Not far from the crater, on a former farm, a museum now pays tribute to the power of the mountain. Senior principal Hlédís Sveinsdóttir kicked off the learning experience at the facade, a 20-foot-high folded form clad with actual lava. Inside the 6,500-square-foot building, she created a fantasy of descending into the mountain’s wellspring of power, the molten center of the earth. Visitors are exposed to folk tales about Hekla, even as loudspeakers broadcast the booms of a simulated eruption, and seismometers display the smallest real-time movements of the volcano.

Other exhibits harness digital technology to help with the visualization of lava flows. It all culminates, conceptually speaking, in a magma stream swirling in a fiery virtual crater.

Project Team: Gunnar B. Stefánsson; Flosi Olafsson.

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