NLFI Rehabilitation and Health Center

Project information

  1. Location Hveragerði, Iceland
  2. Area25.000 m²

Project details

  1. Year2020
  2. StatusUnder development
  3. Partners EFLA
  4. Client NLFI Rehabilitation and Health Clinic
  5. Enquiries Helgi Mar Hallgrímsson
  6. Scope Hospital and health care planning and design

Future connections

NLFI Rehabilitation and Health Clinic has been in operation in Hveragerði since 1955. In 2020 Nordic won the honors of further developing the Center. Our main objective is to propose an attractive, eco-friendly and functional future framework for the operations of the Clinic. A great importance has been placed on creating good connections to nature and the surroundings as well as within the buildings.

Drawing on the river

When designing the buildings, we found inspiration in the shapes and directions of the Varmá river, the surrounding landscapes and the town. We have put a lot of effort into visually breaking the building up into several volumes, giving the viewer a different experience from every new angle.

Inside and outside spaces flow together

A curved axis links all parts of the complex, creating internal connections between functions, as well as interesting views throughout the building, while also eliminating dead ends and ensuring that ample daylight gets into the structure. The building’s shape also helps create varied and interesting outdoor spaces that merge with the surrounding environment as well as the sheltered courtyards.

Landscape design and building design have been treated as a whole. Inside and outside spaces flow together, both visually and functionally. The landscape is designed to support the rehabilitation of the guests of the facility. A pathway going all the way around and through the building is one of the most important exercise equipments of the Health and Wellness Center. The path network offers varied routes and lengths for different needs and abilities.

The construction is made of cross-laminated timber blocks (CLT). An eco-friendly solution that allows for short construction time, with minimal disturbance and noise.

Drawing inspiration from the many greenhouses in the area, the connecting axis is clad with glass and has a glass roof where applicable. The parts of the building that weave around the axis have a timber clad façade.

Spaces requiring extra light are located along the glass-clad parts of the building, while the areas requiring more privacy are placed in the timber-clad parts of the building.

Sustainable solutions

The project has focused heavily on sustainability, particularly the use of geothermal energy which is available from several energy wells in the area. Geothermal heat is used to generate electricity for lighting as well as directly utilised for heating the nearby greenhouses, swimming pools and natural pools. Excess heat from the centre is used for melting snow, and the geothermal cycle is closed by the flow of geothermal fluid back down to the reservoir.

Blue-green water solutions will be used to reduce the load on the utility system and enrich the environment with the use of green roofs and surface draining canals. The slow-down in water seepage further helps enhance biodiversity in the area.

We wanted to create sheltered spaces facing the sun, with fences forming a cozy living area for guests. Efforts are made to protect the vegetation in the area as much as possible. Emphasis is on easy connections to nearby hiking trails, facilities for cyclists, as well as on electric bike and car charging stations.