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Toasting an Icelandic Wine Cellar

Icelandic wine cellar by S+H Construction

Over the course of this festive long weekend, many will be making a descent into their wine cellars for a prize bottle or two to ring in the New Year. We’re guessing, however, that most won’t look quite like this one. 

This wine cellar, which graces the basement of a minimalist Cambridge smart home renovated by S+H Construction, Inc., was created for homeowners who hail from Iceland, and champion a clean-lined, unapologetically modern aesthetic. 

To give it a vibe of “a special lair,” explains Sarah Lawson, president of S+H Construction, the general contractor lowered the basement several feet in that whole area—even venturing beyond the footprint of the house. Doing so gave the space, which is etched in glass, metal and polished granite, a “high-ceiling feel” that creates drama and interest, as well as plenty of opportunities for recessed lighting throughout the wine cellar and in the adjacent tasting room. 

S+H crafted the cellar in collaboration with Icelandic master carpenters Agust Thorarinsson and Jon Bergsveinsson, relatives of the homeowners, who made the trek stateside to install a specialized wine racking system that holds some 2,000 bottles. 

Music is piped into the tasting room, where the homeowners gather to raise their glasses and socialize, to complete the experience. “It really is something else,” says Lawson. “It’s very much like going down into a secret cavern.” 

Construction by S+H Construction, Inc.; Architecture: Bjorn Skaptason, Atelier Architecture, Rekjavik, Iceland; photo by Eric Roth Photography

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