KCAP - Landscape innovation as the identity carrier for Keflavik's airport corridor and surrounding area
  1. Home
  2. Award 2023
  3. Transport
  4. Landscape innovation as the identity carrier for Keflavik's airport corridor and surrounding area

Landscape innovation as the identity carrier for Keflavik's airport corridor and surrounding area


Transport  /  Future

In 2021, a multidisciplinary team led by KCAP including WSP, Felixx, MIC Mobility in Chain, VSO Consulting, Buck Consultants International, Buro Happold, Base Design, Maurits Schaafsma, and Kanon Arkitektar won the competition organised by the Keflavík Airport Development Company, which leads the development of a 55km2 area surrounding Iceland’s global aviation hub. We presented an integrated vision that links an ambitious economic development concept to sustainable urban design, landscape, and mobility strategies. Building on this potential of tourism opportunities and sustainable innovation in the aviation, energy and technology sectors, the Keflavík Airport Area masterplan spearheads the airport area as an economic driver for the Suðurnes region and the country.

Landscape innovation is deployed to integrate climate mitigation and play a fundamental
role as the ‘identity carrier’ for the airport corridor and area at large. An integral part of
the masterplan, landscape articulates the overall spatial organization of the peninsula
and delineates the limits of urban and industrial growth. The landscape strategy within
the masterplan, is tying the ambitious economic development of the peninsula to the
implementation of Iceland’s national forestation programs. These programs are building
on the involvement of local communities, ensuring long-term climate sustainability while
enhancing social networks.

To set the path for sustainable growth, focus development areas are defined that mutually reinforce economic activities and local communities. This involves becoming a world class destination for advanced and green industries, while compact but moderate density offers the opportunity to protect open space. Afforestation is recognized as a key strategy to address the increased impact of wind erosion and a crucial instrument to meet the Icelandic climate goals. The landscape strategy for the Peninsula Park uses afforestation to mitigate the climate, creating a shared identity that refers back to the historical landscape of Suðurnes. Cleaner air, less wind, new chances for sports, recreation and learning will improve the livability, while strengthening the culture of active outdoor use.

Keflavík International Airport is Iceland’s most emblematic gateway. Sitting at the crossroads of Europe and North America, the airport area is exceptionally well suited to develop the full potential of this unique territory and explore untapped opportunities in relation to the global challenges of the future. K64 Keflavík Airport Area Masterplan supports Iceland’s net-zero and sustainability ambitions as well as exemplify United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The design concepts promote health and well-being, appropriate densities, landscaping, and transportation, to create a sustainable city region of the future. To sustain the K64 initiative over time, urban design, landscape and mobility strategies intertwine in an ecosystem that connects, protects, and enhances while supporting activity and population and employment growth. It fosters stronger synergies between the economic and social fabrics of the peninsula. The urban framework is preventing sprawl by proposing compact urban development anchored on the existing build-up context. It establishes a distinct spatial logic for airport related activities around the airport, while it strives for the mixing of uses as a development principle.

This is an ambitious plan and an attractive vision for Suðurnes, the airport and Iceland. Designed as an integrated masterplan combining transport, energy, industrial, commercial and social planning, it will diversify the local economy towards high value sectors supported by world class living and cultural spaces. The plan promotes airport-related activities and prepares the area for growth with attractive residential areas, educational opportunities, diverse culture and services.


 400000 mq
 KCAP, Zurich (team lead, urban planning and urban design)
 WSP, London (economic and real estate development, collaborative development, and organisational readiness); ​Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners, Rotterdam (landscape architecture); ​MIC-HUB, Milan (mobility and transport planning); VSO Consulting, Reykjavík (consulting economy, mobility and urban planning); ​Buck Consultants International, Nijmegen/The Hague (cargo strategy); ​Buro Happold, Berlin (climate and aviation mitigation and energy strategy); ​Base Design, Brussels (place branding); ​Maurits Schaafsma, Amsterdam (consulting airport area master planning); ​Kanon Arkitektar, Reykjavík (consulting urban planning and landscape architect)


KCAP is a leading international design firm specialized in architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture. KCAP was founded in 1989 by Kees Christiaanse and is led today by seven partners: Xavier Blaringhem, Jeroen Dirckx, Ruurd Gietema, Anouk Kuitenbrouwer, Irma van Oort, Ute Schneider and Edward Schuurmans. KCAP holds offices in Rotterdam (NL), Zurich (CH) and Shanghai (CN) and works with a staff of more than 125 talented international professionals on a wide range of projects throughout Europe and Asia.



#Winner #Legno - Vetro  #Spazio pubblico  #Islanda  #Struttura in legno e metallo  #KCAP 

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® is a trademark of Monotype ITC Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and which may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.