The Marshall House is a cultural centre in the Grandi area of Reykjavík.
Those who rent a car will find plenty of parking nearby, although it can also be walked to from the downtown area, or reached with a city bus. City buses can be ridden for free by those with a Reykjavík City Card, which will also grant you free or discounted to galleries, museums and other attractions in the country.
The Marshall House, it should be noted, is already free to enter.
The Marshall House was built during the post-war, post-independence boom of Iceland’s industry in 1948. As the country’s population consolidated in Reykjavík and the country welcomed rapid advancements in fishing technologies, a large infrastructure was needed around the harbour area to support the changes.
As such, the Marshall House began life as a fish meal factory. Though these are hardly glamorous beginnings, Iceland’s fisheries had been central to the country’s development and survival for centuries. Buildings such as the Marshall House helped elevate this to an industrial level and propel the country into the modern area.
In 2017, however, the purpose of the Marshall House changed with Iceland’s economy; as tourism became more crucial than fishing, it has discovered new life as a cultural centre.
This change was also reflected in its surroundings. The Grandi part of Reykjavík had always been central to the fishing and fish processing industries, but has recently undergone a renaissance. Now it is home to many fashionable boutiques, quirky restaurants, and public artworks such as Þúfa.
The Marshall House boasts three exhibitions. The Living Art Museum and Kling & Bang Gallery are non-profit museums ran by artists seeking to celebrate contemporary art from people from a range of backgrounds. Studio Olafur Eliasson, meanwhile, celebrates the works of its award-winning Danish-Icelandic namesake, whose pieces have been featured around the world.
The Marshall House also has a restaurant and bar that, appropriate for its history, serves mainly seafood.