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Ring of Bjólfur by Esja Architecture

Visitors and locals alike will soon have the opportunity to experience the breathtaking views and immerse themselves in the rich cultural history of the region from this exceptional vantage point.

Image Courtesy of © Alex Cetea & Andrei Ducu Predescu

Esja Architecture, in collaboration with Arkibygg Arkitektar, ANNA Landslagsarkitekt, Kjartan Mogensen, and AXA Nordic engineers, is set to transform the stunning Icelandic landscape with the introduction of the “Ring of Bjólfur.” This innovative architectural marvel, located on the slopes of Mount Bjólfur, promises to offer visitors an unparalleled 360° experience high above the breathtaking Seydisfjordur.

The Ring of Bjólfur is poised to become a must-visit attraction in East Iceland, perched at an impressive 650 meters above sea level. Set against the backdrop of Seydisfjordur, a narrow fjord renowned for its vibrant art scene, rich food culture, and annual art and music festival, this ring-shaped viewing platform is set to take the region’s tourism to new heights.

Image Courtesy of © Esja Architecture
Image Courtesy of © Esja Architecture

360° Experience

With a generous diameter of 32 meters, the Ring of Bjólfur will feature a continuous walkway and bench spanning its entire 100-meter circumference. This design ensures that visitors can immerse themselves in the stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains, the charming town below, the picturesque valley, and the towering mountain peaks. Additionally, its gentle sloping structure ensures wheelchair accessibility, making it an inclusive destination for all.

Silver Colour Palette

The Ring of Bjólfur’s striking aesthetic comes from its construction materials. Crafted from concrete, with an inner railing made from locally sourced larch and an outer railing consisting of slim stainless-steel posts, the structure features an array of silver-grey tones. These materials have been chosen not only for their visual appeal but also for their durability, crucial in the face of the region’s harsh weather conditions and remote location. The silver palette elegantly contrasts with the natural brown tones of the rocky landscape it rests upon, creating a harmonious blend of modernity and nature.


A Viking Ring

The name “Bjólfur” pays homage to the Viking tradition and the region’s history. It is believed that the Viking Bjólfur, the area’s forefather, was laid to rest high atop Mount Bjólfur, accompanied by his most treasured possessions, including jewelry and weapons. The Ring of Bjólfur symbolizes this precious Viking ring, connecting modern architecture with the area’s rich heritage.

Image Courtesy of © Alex Cetea & Andrei Ducu Predescu

Cantilevering Structure

This architectural marvel features a cantilevering design, seamlessly integrated into the landscape. The closed circle design proves to be highly efficient in distributing the load, requiring only four anchor points, a testament to its structural ingenuity.

Image Courtesy of © Esja Architecture
Image Courtesy of © Esja Architecture

Construction Challenges and Timeline

Construction of the Ring of Bjólfur is scheduled to commence this fall, with an expected completion date in fall 2024. The challenging elevation of the construction site, unpredictable weather conditions, and steep road passes have necessitated meticulous planning at every stage of the construction process.

The project’s inception was marked by its victory in a prequalified competition issued by the Múlaþing Municipality in 2021. The Ring of Bjólfur is the result of a collaborative effort between architects, landscape architects, and structural engineers, exemplifying the power of interdisciplinary teamwork.

Project information
Official Project Name: Ring of Bjólfur
Location: Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Client: Múlaþing Municipality
Construction: 2023-2024
Budget: ISK 190 million

Design team
Architects: Esja Architecture & Arkibygg Arkitektar –
Landscape Architects: ANNA Landslagsarkitekt & Kjartan Mogensen
Engineers: AXA Nordic


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