The Making of Sky Lagoon: Creating the Turf Wall

While Sky Lagoon wows visitors with its warm and modern feel, the team ensured thoughtful historical elements and traditions were worked into the overall design and guest experience.

This style of building dates back to the settlement of Iceland in about 870 and was used all the way through to the mid 20th century. Settlers used turf to build their homes because it offered exceptional isolation and protection against Iceland’s harsh weather conditions. Turf was also in abundant supply on an island where construction materials were hard to come by. While modern homes and buildings no longer use turf, we’ve paid homage to this ancient Iceland design by building our own turf wall at Sky Lagoon, a first for a modern building in the country. The turf wall greets guests as they arrive.

When constructing our wall, our turf layer specialist Guðjón S. Kristinsson and his team revived this ancient building technique by cutting heavy pieces of turf into tiles and then layering those tiles into a herringbone pattern inside a wooden frame. Icelandic turf is especially durable because it is mixed with ash from various volcanic eruptions, making it thicker and almost concrete-like.

“I’ve stacked turf in Norway, Denmark and Germany.... Icelandic turf beats them all. It’s completely unique,” says Guðjón.

Find out more about our turf wall and get a sneak peek at Sky Lagoon in the short film above.

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