It was in Iceland, more than in Ireland, living in the land of ice and fire, without anymore trees, that I learned the importance of considering resilient architecture above all as tree-centric.
Thomas Allocca


Museum Women of Iceland

In summer 2022, White Oak Arkitecture has been elected chief designer firm of the Museum Women of Iceland in the town of Ólafsfjörður, a fishing and tourist town in northeastern Iceland, at the mouth of the fjord Eyjafjörður. Creator and president of the project is Ida Semey, owner of the coffee & guesthouse Kaffi Klara in Ólafsfjörður. The project is supported by the local delegation of the Rotary Club, funder of the museum's website, by Lára Stefánsdóttir, master of Artistic Photography and headmaster of the local High School, and by Kolbrún Elfa Sigurðardóttir, specialized in Antique History and teacher of Latin in Reykjavik.

The museum is dedicated to the memory of the ancestral women of Ólafsfjörður, the founders and the strength of the local society, when between the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century their men were far from the village almost all year round fishing. All daily activities were carried out by mothers and grandmothers, in harsh climate conditions, without any modern comfort and social healthcare or security service. Their social cohesion, their sense of community, above all when their men didn't return from sea, has kept alive the village, and their stories, their knowledge, their traditions will continue to be alive thanks to Ida Semey.

The museum tells of the most original history of Ólafsfjörður, and considering that the great part of the fishing villages of Iceland have passed through the same history, this museum will be the pathfinder for a new and richer history of Iceland, the history of its bravest and wisest women, the women of the land of the ice and the fire, of the long dark winters, but with the sun inside, and in the eyes.