Located on the outskirts of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, Kópavogur is a town of 35,000 inhabitants and the country’s second largest municipality by population. It centres around a large church built on the hillside between 1958 and 1962 to plans by architects Hörður Bjarnason and Ragnar Emilsson and illuminated by a striking lighting system designed by iGuzzini. It is also home to a new neighbourhood called Lundur (meaning «grove» in Icelandic) which recently grew up on the site of an old farm called Lundur Bæ.
In this modern residential complex characterised by a variety of architectural styles and units of many different sizes, interior designer Rut Káradóttir worked on the interior architecture of several apartments where she adapted her own design principles to the wishes of her clients. The two-floor home illustrated in this article is one project that she worked on extensively. Káradóttir, who graduated in 1993 from the IED-Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome then worked for several years at the Iezzi & Iezzi architecture firm before opening her own practice in Reykjavik in 1997, commented: «I was commissioned to work on this project by a young couple with small children. They gave me a lot of flexibility and freedom in terms of design, but at the same time they wanted the house to be functional and convenient. They also requested a décor that would convey a sense of warmth along with a timeless style and atmosphere.»
The apartment extends over two floors. The ground floor is occupied by the living area with lounge, custom-built kitchen, dining area and a bathroom. The upper floor is reserved for the more private spaces with the master bedroom and two children’s bedrooms, a large bathroom, the laundry room and a family room with a giant TV screen as the visual and social focus of the room.
We ask her what technical, architectural and aesthetic criteria she adopted for the project. «In all my work, my aim is to create an orderly interior with a meticulously planned hierarchy of furniture, accessories and spaces as well as colours so as to achieve a classic and timeless overall look,» notes Káradóttir. «At the same time, this approach allows the owners to change the atmosphere and appearance of the house without too much effort.»
The acoustics and lighting are also an important part of Káradóttir’s design process as they help to create a calm, family-friendly domestic landscape. The same applies to the choice of materials, which the architect considers crucial. «As this was to be the home of a family with young children, my firm and I wanted to use flooring materials that would be practical but not mundane, combining excellent quality with elegance and strong graphic appeal,» she explained. «Based on these considerations, tiles from Fioranese’s I Cocci collection in the Cenere finish seemed the perfect choice, so we used them for all the floors in the apartment. Moreover, their colour harmonises perfectly with the other materials such as the walnut of the wardrobes and the earth tones of the walls, colours that are part of a line of paints I created for an Icelandic paint company called «Roma» in honour of the wonderful city where I studied and lived for many years.»
Fioranese, I Cocci
60x60 cm + mosaico exa
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0.5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): conforme
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme