Iceland rules not just as a top eco-friendly destination but it rules in the architecture and design department as well. Harpa is a state-of-the-art Concert Hall and Conference Center located by the Reykjavik harbour.

Winner of the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, the prize was accompanied by the announcement: Harpa’s crystalline structure was inspired by Icelandic landscapes and traditions. Its dramatic design captures and reflects the light of the city, ocean and sky to thrilling effect.

That’s capturing the spirit aptly. Danish-Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson’s vision was to evoke the idea of a glacier in the interplay of light through the impressive glass facade. The main designers are Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects and Icelandic architectural firm Batteríið Architects.

Olafur Eliasson designed the south facade, and developed the principle for the remaining facades and roof in collaboration with the architects. He deploys light, colour and natural phenomena to test how physical movement, sensual engagement, and the interaction of body and brain influence our perception of our surroundings.

Harpa Photo:


It’s no surprise that the Iceland Symphony Orchestra moved into these plush quarters along with the most famous Icelandic mouse — Maximus Musicus. The books about the musical mouse have captured the imagination of the children.  The writer and illustrator, Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir and Thórarinn Már Baldursson, are members of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

It’s green policy ensures that the water used in Harpa comes from water reserves located on the outskirts of Reykjavík. The glass facade reduces lighting cost.

Time to make a date with this gorgeous venue.

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