© Kwanpo Cheng

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A Growing Peace

Independent | 2018 | John Stewardson Memorial Competition

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For Iceland, creation occurs at a moment of separation. Where two rifts separate, new earth is created. Where two cliffs oppose, lichen fill the broken land. Where two warring forces meet, a peace can be established. This concept is expressed by the Temple for Peace with exposed walls made of locally-harvested basaltic rock. Visitors congregate between the volcanic walls and are encouraged to explore the lichen growing between the individual stones. An imperfect symmetry between room and platform implies synergy between opposition.


Rooms are sunken into the Earth for minimal impact to the landscape, preserving its beauty. The Altar for Peace is oriented towards the Lögberg Rift, situated in a room across from the Peace Garden where a native Rowan is still completing its first life. Where rooms are on one side, viewing platforms allow visitors to overlook the Park and Church to the south.