Egill Egilsson, an industrial designer in Reykjavik, Iceland, is a founder of the firm Projekt Studio. He's also a board member of the Iceland Design Centre and chairman of the Association of Icelandic Product and Industrial Designers. ("This is really funny," he says. "There are 50 of us, and we meet at cafes, but with this name it looks like it is both big and old.")
I met Egill in March when I was in Reykjavik for DesignMarch, the city's first official design week, and he was kind enough--bold enough--to host some 50 of us design junkies to his home in beautiful Kjalarnes, a quiet area of Reykjavik. As much as I loved trolling the city streets for design, a dinner party at a designer's home, accessible only by a big long bus driven by a man in an Icelandic sweater, was Homebodies heaven.
Egill lives here with his wife Elisabet and their three children, ages 3-18. The house is on land that belongs to Elisabet's family, who once ran a farm here called Varmidalur, which means warm valley. In this post are photos of the exterior, on a evening when it wasn't so warm in the valley. I'll post interior shots in the next few days.
I love Iceland. This is on the way to Kjalarnes. I wasn't kidding about the driver's sweater! I spent much of my time in Iceland considering buying one of these, especially since I landed there on my birthday. I emailed friends about it. Invited people on Facebook to vote yes or no on my related status update. But it just wasn't sitting right with me, and so I left the country without one (though I did buy a very cool scarf). In the second photo below, the mountain on the left is Helgafell, a dormant volcano.
The house is tiled with a Brazilian slate called Mustang, and Egill used stainless-steel fasteners instead of the traditional darker ones to make it more interesting. "I like it better to have the structure as a part of the final appearance," he says. "The system saves energy, because it allows for insulation between the tails and the concrete wall, which brakes the wind cooling during the winter and is substantial. The tiles fulfill my criteria: beautiful, maintenance-free and energy saving. Perfect." A 1955 Buick sits in the driveway. (Sorry I don't have a better picture of the entire house. I think I was too cold to venture out into the field of snow, but I wish I had.)
I like the doormat. Around the corner is the kitchen, from the outside. Toward the back of the house you see another home in the distance. Elisabet's parents live here.
Egill says he normally removes the decorative lights from the house in early January after the holidays, but he decided to keep them up this year. "Lights are the one of the things we use to lighten our mood during the dark winter," he says. "It definitely helps."