Harpa 2011, Iceland, Reykjavik

Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre forms part of an extensive harbour development project in Reykjavik, the East Harbour Project. The overall intention is to generate life in the area and to create a better connection between the city centre and the harbour.

Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre gathers inspiration from the northern lights and the dramatic Icelandic scenery. Situated on the border between land and sea, the Concert Hall stands out as a large, radiant sculpture reflecting both sky and harbour space as well as the vibrant life of the city. The spectacular façades have been designed in close collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects, the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and the engineering companies Rambøll and ArtEngineering GmbH from Germany. The Concert Hall of 28,000 m2 is situated in a solitary spot with a clear view of the enormous sea and the mountains surrounding Reykjavik. The building features an arrival and foyer area in the front of the building, four halls in the middle 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 and banquets. Seen from the foyer, the halls form a mountain-like massif that similar to basalt rock on the coast forms a stark contrast to the expressive and open façade. At the core of the rock, the largest hall of the building, the main concert hall, reveals its interior as a red-hot centre of force. The project is designed in collaboration with the local architectural company, Batteríið Architects.



Building or project owner : Austurnhofn TR – East Harbour Project Ltd.

Architecture : Henning Larsen Architects and Batteriid Architects

Structural engineering : ArtEngineering GmbH, Mannvit, Hnit Verkis and Rambøll

Facade design : Olafur Eliasson


Facade type and geometry (structure) : As the rest of the building, the design of the façades is inspired by nature. In particular, the characteristic local basalt formations have provided the inspiration for the geometric façade structure. Henning Larsen Architects has designed the façade of the concert hall in close collaboration with the local architects Batteriid Architects and the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.

Participatory architecture & urban interaction