Preparing the construction of Árböð river baths on the banks of Hvítá river
The company Mannverk is currently preparing to construct a lagoon at Laugarás in Bláskógabyggð. The lagoon, which has been named Árböðin (Riverbahs), will be located in the middle of the upper Árnes county on the bank of the river Hvítá.
“We were lucky enough in 2015 to find a unique property in this wonderful place, which offers a number of opportunities in an environment rich in beauty, geothermal energy and ambition for various types of cultivation as well as tourism,” says Hjalti Gylfason, the CEO of Mannverk.
The work starts next year
The project is expected to begin at the beginning of next year.
Gylfason says that there is a consensus for an ambitious vision for Árböð river baths and that the experience of guests will be good. Special emphasis was placed on the design of the lagoon, that it would be a diverse experience for visitors. The lagoon would offer a multi-faceted experience, whether in the form of hot or cold bathing areas, steam baths, relaxation spaces or restaurants.
According to Gylfason, the lagoon will be divided into hills. “The lagoon itself is designed to allow the water to flow through, like a little like river, and visitors’ journey through the lagoon reflects this flow.” To travel between the upper and lower lagoons, the visitor goes down through a hole in the water-front and comes out through a small waterfall into the lower lagoon. “It will be an experience to see people disappearing through the water-front and appearing through the waterfall of the lower lagoon.”
Working with great people
Much has been put into the design process to make Árböð river baths fit the environment, Gylfason says, but as can be seen in the accompanying photos, it is assumed that the facilities at the lagoon will be covered with vegetation. The building will not be tall and the earthly colour palette of the grounds will be prominent.
“From the lagoon you have an unobstructed view of the countryside and of Vörðufell, but also of one of the most beautiful bridge in Iceland, the bridge ofver Hvítá river,” he says.
“We hired architect agency T. Mark to take care of the architecture and then got Efla Engineering to see to the engineering design. Both parties have extensive knowledge and experience of similar projects and the result is a success.”
Local produce from the neighbourhood
In addition to the lagoon itself, a resting-area will be equipped with a constant hot rain and a sauna with a window with a great view.
In addition, a restaurant with an outdoor area is also expected to be available, where all kinds of events can be held, such as concerts, Gylfason said.
“Laugarás is a unique place and I believe that Árböð river baths can be a fun addition to the experience that is offered in the area. I also see a number of opportunities for collaboration with local businesses, which are for instance in food production. Our hope is to pick up the most ingredients for the restaurant in the nearby area of the lagoon.”