The Land of Fire and Ice 2: Harpa


One of the most prominent buildings in Reykjavik is the Harpa concert hall.


Sited by the old harbour, on the waterfront, the building was designed by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson.

The design is supposed to reflect aspects of Iceland’s natural landscapes and colours. The glass panels are shaped and coloured to suggest fish-scales.

The dark-coloured interior, with black walls and the hexagonal reflective panels on the ceiling, echo the basalt rock columns and dramatic black sand beaches of many of the coastal areas of the island.



Ceiling selfie.

The construction was started in 2007 but was pretty well abandoned as a result of the 2008 financial crash. Eventually, the Icelandic government decided to fund the completion of the concert hall, although not of the additional elements of the development that had originally been planned (apartments, shops, a luxury hotel and banking headquarters).

The site is now a landmark buildings and it’s free to go in and have a look.




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