Iceland’s currency may be devalued, but thankfully the same thing hasn’t happened to the country’s lust for arts and culture. The capital city of Reykjavík, will soon be welcoming the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center designed by Henning Larsen Architects with Olafur Eliasson and Artec. Considered to be one of the most ambitious cultural projects the country has undertaken in years, this stunning new building will become the new home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. A sleek and modern design, Harpa’s multi-faceted glass façade also provides ample amounts of natural interior lighting and features a unique system of LED lights that give the structure an Icelandic glow in the evenings.
Harpa’s concert hall will have the capacity for up to 1,800 people, and will be characterized by a glowing red interior that makes up the venue’s core. However, it’s the building’s incredible glass façade that truly defines the structure. A mosaic of glass inspired by the crystallized basalt columns found all throughout Iceland, the façade creates a kaleidoscope of surface reflections that extend from the city to the surrounding landscape and even offer insight into the subtlest of daily and climactic changes made by Mother Nature. The transparency of the glass also infuses the interior spaces with natural light, reducing the building’s energy load. Finally an integrated system of LED lighting modules emit an adjustable light and color long after the sun has set.
Once complete, Harpa will take its place as the centerpiece of a greater urban redevelopment and revitalization initiative taking place on Reykjavík’s historic harbor and waterfront. The city hopes that the new hall will become a symbol of renewed dynamism that will energize and strengthen the capital with its mix of concerts, exhibition, conventions, public programs and receptions.
Renderings © 2007 Portus ehf., Olafur Eliasson, and Henning Larsen Architects
Photo Façade © 2007 Portus ehf., Olafur Eliasson, and Henning Larsen Architects
Plans © Henning Larsen Architects