Gallery: Studio Olafur Eliasson’s Crystalline Harpa Concert Hall Wins t...


The waterfront façade of the Harpa Concert Hall is made of individual polygonal glass frames resembling sparkly fish scales, which reflect water and light, creating a kaleidoscope of luminous colors. Aside from lighting up the harbor, the glass allows total usage of natural lighting during daytime, changing hues as the seasons change. In the evening, a system of LED lights illuminate the inside, giving the building a warm glow that is reflected in the dark waters of the harbor.

The massive 28,000 square meter interior, designed by Henning Larsen and Batteriid Architects, hosts four main halls which represent the elements. A fiery 1800 seat grand concert hall, called Eldborg,  emulates Iceland’s volcanic activity. The smaller halls represent the Northern Lights (air), calcite crystals (earth), and a cold lagoon (water).

Harpa is the center of a project to re-enliven Reykjavik’s harbor front, drawing crowds as the new home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. The building also hosts conferences and meetings.

+ Harpa Concert Hall

+ Studio Olafur Eliasson

+ Henning Larsen Architects

+ Batteriid Architects

Images © Olafur Eliasson


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  1. lazyreader August 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    This is a concert hall, it looks more like the place where Jor-El launched his sons spacecraft.

  2. Hana Vinduska August 25, 2011 at 7:44 am

    So how is this immense space sustainably kept comfortable – as in good climate?
    Is this sustainable architecture?

  3. gdsfafas May 21, 2011 at 11:37 am

    The facade is incredibility 1950’s. When everyone was interested in simple repetitive geometry.I have to say I was expecting much more. The interior shot looks amazing but the facade not so much.

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