Third years kickoff term with Reykjavik trip

Third year Department of Landscape students in Reykjavik

Third year students from the Department of Landscape enjoyed an international start to term on a five-day field trip, which saw them exploring the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik and its surrounding areas.

The paid-for excursion allows students entering their third year to experience and explore examples of Landscape Architecture in an international setting, as well as hearing leading Landscape Architects discuss their projects in situ.

The group travelled to Iceland on 25th September, with tutors Laurence Pattacini and Andy Clayden.

Highlights of the visit included a presentation by Þráinn Hauksson, from Icelandic Landscape Architecture practice Landslag, on their site design surrounding the iconic Harpa Concert Hall, as well as a boat trip to Videy Island nature reserve, home to art installations by Yoko Ono and Richard Serra.

Ashley Pike, a BA Landscape Architecture student said: “the trip was a great way to experience a very different culture and climate, seeing how landscape design has been influenced by both factors. It was a refreshing way to start the year with a completely new perspective on landscape and architecture in a totally new environment. The field trip also enabled us all to improve our in-situ sketching abilities, especially with the cold Icelandic wind being a constant presence!”

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The group of 40 students explored many different sites and styles of Landscape Architecture over the five days, including Hallgrimskirja, the Einar Jonsson sculpture garden and the impressive City Hall building, which appears to be floating on a lake. Students had been asked to research individual sites and were required to present their findings to the group, at their assigned site.

Students were free to explore further afield on the third day of the trip, with a large majority choosing to travel together to the breathtaking Golden Circle sites of Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss and Geysir.

This is the first time that the Department of Landscape’s third year international field trip has visited Iceland. The location was chosen by popular vote and follows previous excursions to Copenhagen and Berlin. Students’ travel and accommodation costs for the trip are included in their course fees and paid for by the University.

On their final evening in Rejkjavik, the group was treated to a vibrant display of the aurora borealis, made brighter thanks to the decision by the Icelandic government to switch off the city’s street lights for the show.

Ashley Pike added: “we enjoyed exploring Reykjavik in our free time and my most memorable experiences include fishing off the harbor wall at Harpa, swimming in the Icelandic sea and travelling to the Golden Circle, in awe of the staggering, wild landscape; it was a truly memorable experience for us all, with everyone saying they would return!”

Watch the video 'Landsape Architects take Iceland' as captured by BA Landscape Architecture student Kelci Vittachi.