Icelandic Lessons

Icelandic Lessons

Industrial Landscape. Teaching and Research in Architecture

Are intact nature and industrialization of untouched landscape really opposing categories? The latest volume of Teaching and Research in Architecture offers an answer.


  • Out of Print


Title Information

Edited by Harry Gugger, Aurélie Blanchard, Barbara Costa, Lukas Lenherr

1st edition

, 2015

Paperback with folded map as dust jacket

160 pages, 284 color and 49 b/w illustrations, graphics and plans

23 x 31 cm

ISBN 978-3-906027-80-7

In cooperation with Laboratory Basel (laba), EPFL


Iceland has fewer than 350,000 inhabitants, with half in Reykjavik, but the beautiful yet sparsely inhabited island in the North Atlantic is rich in natural resources. In particular, its huge hydro- and geothermal potential allows for the production of sustainable energy, which can be utilized in various industries. As a result, Iceland has become increasingly attractive for industrial development.

Icelandic Lessons presents the findings from recent research efforts undertaken by Laboratory Basel (laba), founded in 2011 as a satellite studio affiliated with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Swiss architect Harry Gugger established the studio with the aim of offering an all-encompassing education that enables architects to understand the design and building process in its entirety, and thus be proactive participants in the entire creation of the built environment. The objective of laba’s most recent research was to investigate the potential spatial and ecological impact of industrialization on Iceland by exploring key areas of conflict, including the relationships between landscape and architecture, rural and urban areas, and nature and culture, among others. Highly illustrated with photographs, maps, and plans, the book presents not only a carefully imagined future, but also the part architecture and design can play in making it better.


Other volumes in the Teaching and Research in Architecture series:

Barents Lessons (out of print)

Swiss Lessons (out of print)

Venice Lessons

Israel Lessons

Portugal Lessons

Fez Lessons

Manor Lessons

Authors & Editors

Aurélie Blanchard

 has been working with Herzog & de Meuron 2007–12 and founded her own studio in 2012. She also has been a teaching assistant at laba since 2011.

Barbara Costa

 is Head of Research at laba, where she currently also pursues her PhD degree. She graduated from University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture and also holds a Master’s degree in drawing from University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Harry Gugger

 is an architect and a Professor at Ecole Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne's (EPFL) School of Architecture since 2005. He is head of EPFL's Basel-based satellite studio Laboratory Basel (laba).

Lukas Lenherr

 is an architect running his own studio in Zürich and has been laba’s Head of Teaching 2013–15. He also teaches at Alpine AA, Architectural Association’s Visiting School based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein since 2014.