Nýp Guesthouse

Studio Bua, , 2019


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Nýp Guesthouse is situated in a former farm overlooking the Breiðafjörður Bay Nature Reserve, Western Iceland.

Constructed as a farmhouse in 1936, the building was deserted in the 1970s, falling into disrepair before the new owners began rebuilding in 2001. Since 2006, it has come to be known as a cultural hub, playing host to various exhibitions, lectures and workshops. This latest phase involved renovating the farmhouse, and extending the adjoining sheep-shed. Nýp’s first guests were accommodated in two of the four bedrooms in the remodelled farmhouse.

The reimagined sheep-shed has added a further three ensuite guestrooms with a separate entrance. The entrance hall and connection to the farmhouse have been oversized, allowing it to double as an exhibition space. The farmhouse is divided vertically in two volumes with the living quarters to the south and a hay barn to the North. Bua inserted an additional floor into the barn to create an event space with views to the mountains and fjord. Driftwood, collected from the beach, has been used as columns to support the new floor. Steel handrails, timber doors and beams have been salvaged from building sites in Reykjavik.

Bua took a vernacular approach with a form based on local turf homes and a renovation that focused on restoring and reinterpreting historical features while making full use of local labour, techniques and materials such as stone-turf retaining walls and handmade clay tiles. The prevailing wind comes down the valley, so it was decided to overclad the rear of the building and the extension in corrugated aluzinc - one of the few materials proven to withstand the extreme weather.

Where possible the original concrete has been retained and exposed, both internally and externally. The facades towards the fjord have been repaired and given a thin silicate render (in the original colours).

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: Oct 2017
  • Completed: Jul 2019
  • Floor area: 380m2
  • Sectors: Residential, Hotel
  • Total cost: £240,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Jan 2017
  • Procurement: Traditional contract - IN ACCORDANCE WITH MANNVIRKJASTOFNUN ARTICLE 4.9.1

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