11207 google Jenny Sabin_Case Study04.jpg

Qnd Laug Project

Public Art

Marcus Guillard

Inspired by a stunning location that overlooks Goðafoss, a waterfall in northern Iceland, One Hat One Hand developed designs for a hot spring that not only referenced Viking history, but boldly fit within the dramatic Icelandic landscape.  We were inspired to call the project Qnd Laug, which means “Soul Bath” in old Norse. A dip in the hot, healing waters would be an opportunity for the body and mind to reset and connect with the surrounding environment.  


Based on centuries-old Icelandic shipbuilding traditions, Qnd Laug is sculpted to feel like a partially submerged ship, with its bowsprit boldly emerging from the land. Inside the structure, as you relax in the geothermal pool, light would filter through circular windows and dance upon the wooden walls.  For materials, we proposed surrounding the spring with basalt stone columns, which naturally form from molten lava that cools and solidifies. These are endemic to Iceland and considered a stone of rebirth – representing the transformative experience of the body and soul.

Icelandic history designed into a hot spring retreat