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Batteriid Architects – Harpa concert and conference hall, Reykjavik 2011

Batteriid Architects – Harpa concert and conference hall, Reykjavik 2011



Batteriid Architects: http://arkitekt.is/


Situated on the border between land and sea, the Harpa stands out as a large, radiant sculpture reflecting both sky and harbor space as well as the vibrant life of the city.
The building features an arrival and foyer area, with restaurants and commercial facilities in the front of the building, four halls in the middle, meeting rooms and a backstage area with offices, administration, rehearsal hall and changing room in the back of the building. The three large halls are placed next to each other with public access on the south side and backstage access from the north. The fourth floor is a multifunctional hall with room for more intimate shows, banquets and a restaurant with a view over the city.
The design emphasized the use of natural lighting in the vestibule and other passages since that is not an option in the concert and conference halls. This results in large glass facades that utilize low u-value materials and recirculate energy from other parts of the building. Additionally, the use of black concrete behind the class facades facilitates the conservation of energy from solar radiation through the facade. Heating is otherwise provided by geothermal energy similarly to other buildings or even street surfaces in Reykjavik.
Light and transparency are key elements in the building. The crystalline structure, created by the geometric figures of the facade, captures and reflects the light – promoting the dialogue between the building, city and surrounding landscape.



Architects: Batteríið Architects, Henning Larsen Architects and Studio Olafur Eliasson

Location: The east harbour in Reykjavik, capital of Iceland


Year/status: Opened in 2011

Structure: Concrete, mixed with coal dust to get the right “lava” color

Materials: Glass,steel and concrete

Project team:

Team from Batteriid Architects:
Responsible partner: Sigurður Einarsson
Team of architects: Soffía Valtýsdóttir, Jón Ólafur Ólafsson, Guðmundur Ósvaldsson, Arnar Skjaldarson, Sigurbjartur Loftsson, Ingvi Þorbjörnsson, Grétar Snorrason, Áslaug Elísa Guðmundsdóttir, Jón Benjamín Einarsson, Þórdís Halldórsdóttir, Ellen Tyler, Arnór Skúlason, Anders Möller Nielsen, Erlingur Snær Erlingsson, Hjálmar Örn Guðmarsson, Berta Ósk Stefánsdóttir, Tryggvi Tryggvason, and Christian Faurschou

Team from Henning Larsen Architects:
Responsible partner: Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen –

Architect and Design Manager: Ósbjørn Jacobsen – Project manager: Klavs Holm Madsen – Façade specialist: Steen Elsted Andersen
Team of architects: Andrea Tryggvadóttir, Birthe Bæk, David Garcia, Debbi Hedeham, Thuesen, Diana Arsovic Hareskov, Nielsen, Elizabeth Balsborg, Filip Lyders Francati, Hannibal Hink, Helga Vilmundardóttir, Ina Borup, Sørensen, Ingela Larsson, Jørgen Olesen, Katja Brandt Lassen, Kristian Svejborg Olesen, Lars Harup, Leif Andersen, Leonardo Paes Resende, Lisbeth Leth-Sonne, Martha Lewis, Mateusz Kozlowski, Matthias Lehr, Mette Kynne Frandsen, Mette Landorph, Merete Alder Juul, Morten Hauch, Niels Gravergaard, Rasmus Haak, Steen Elsted, and Vanda Oliveira

Team from Studio Olafur Eliasson:
Responsible architect: Sebastian Behmann
Project architect: Ben Allen
Geometry development: Einar Thorsteinn

Client/contractor: PORTUS inc. / IAV inc. (Icelandic Prime Contractor)

Partner/consultants: Engineers _ArtEngineering GmbH, Mannvit, Hnit Verkis and Rambøll

Photography:  Nic Lehoux



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