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Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik

The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre shines like a shimmering light prism in the harbour of Reykjavik. Henning Larsen Architekten and Batteríid Architects were responsible for the design.

A reflection of nature

Reykjavik's spectacular concert hall and conference centre is Iceland's new landmark. With their joint design, Henning Larsen Architects and Batteríid Architects have literally held a mirror up to nature.

The sparkling new building in the harbour of Reykjavik cannot be overlooked, even from a distance. Two huge offset cube-shaped wings offer 28,000 square metres for four concert and conference halls, as well as other event locations, a hotel and a restaurant complete with bar.

Inspired by the Icelandic nature, it became the guiding principle for the design of the architects. The building cubes themselves evoke sheer and rugged rocky cliffs The sparkling double façade made of glass and steel were designed in collaboration with the artist Olafur Eliasson. It features the typical form of the Iceland columnar basalt on the south side. The three-dimensional structure made of more than 1,000 twelve-sided glass modules creates a dynamic interaction of building and nature. The various lighting moods of the island are captured and enhanced with special "colour effect glass":
so-called "dichroic glass" appears yellow, orange and green in translucence, while the complementary colours are reflected in the incidence of light. Depending on the weather and viewing angle, the building shines in various colours, and at times it seems completely transparent and then again like a fairy tale glittering light prism. A reduced two-dimensional façade variation comprised of honeycombed hexagons is used on the north, east and west sides of the "Harpa" (which means "harp" in English).

The metaphorical architecture is continued inside the sculptural structure. A concert hall covered in dark red velvet is presented like a glowing volcano in the core of the building. Classical masterpieces and modern melodies come to life here.

The stylish Gira E2 switch range in pure white and anthracite was installed throughout the entire concert hall and conference centre.

Architecture firm

Henning Larsen Architects
Vesterbrogade 76
1620 Copenhagen V
Denmark
Phone: +45 (0) 8233 3000
www.henninglarsen.com

Image gallery


The concert hall shines in dark red velvet like a glowing volcano. The guiding principle of the Icelandic nature metaphorically sweeps through all of the architecture.

The spectacular double façade was developed in collaboration with the artist Olafur Eliasson. Fascinating light effects result through the "colour effect glass" based on the weather, incidence of light and viewing angle.

Photos: S. Gudjonsson

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