Information about Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland

Harpa is Rekjavík’s premier concert hall and conference centre. Opened in 2011, it was designed by a collaboration between Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, and the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects.

History

The idea for a purpose-built concert hall in Reykjavík had been tossed around since the 1880s, but it wasn't until this millennium that it began to gain traction. Construction finally began in 2007.

It’s future, however, was left uncertain in the wake of the financial crash of 2008, when it was left partially constructed and the funds to finish it were lacking. The Icelandic populace was divided between having a half-finished construction site facing their downtown or spending money no-one was sure they had. 

The Icelandic government, however, decided that it was the only building in the country that warranted being raised, in spite of the dubious future of the economy, and fully financed its completion. 



Architecture

Harpa won the prestigious Mies van de Rohe award in 2013, otherwise known as the European Prize for Contemporary Architecture, and is featured heavily in any tour of the city. Its structure is beautiful and unique; it has a facade of 714 glass panels, all of which are a different shape and built with an LED light that allows for shows whenever the sky is dark. 

Olafur Eliasson is world-renowned for his large-scale installation art, and for the influences he takes from the natural world. This is clearly exhibited in Harpa; it reflects the basalt landscapes of Iceland and the dark coloured glass creates beautiful effects with the natural light. 

Studio Olafur Eliasson employs 90 people, from architects to graphic designers, craftsmen to art historians. Based in Berlin, they work across the world, and are well-known for works such as London's 2007 Serpentine Gallery Pavillion and the annual event Life is Space.

Henning Larsen Architects are similarly successful. They have collaborated on the construction of dozens of buildings in over twenty countries, such as the Copenhagen Opera House and Uppsala Concert Hall in Sweden. They are currently working on the creation of thirteen buildings around the world, many of which they scored the opportunity to work on due to their competition-winning designs.

Harpa Today

Today, Harpa is one of the jewels in Reykjavík’s crown. The hall hosts exhibitions, concerts, cultural events, meetings, and festivals such as Airwaves, Sónar and the Reykjavík Fashion Festival. Home of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and the offices of the Icelandic Opera, it is a centre of culture in Iceland’s capital.

Many internationally known artists from around the world have performed here, including people such as Eddie Izzard and Cyndi Lauper. It also regularly showcases native talent, such as Björk and Of Monsters and Men



Below, you can see a video showing Harpa's construction.

 

Services near Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre

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Attractions nearby Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Lækjargata

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Austurvöllur

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Dómkirkjan

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Althingi

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Sun Voyager

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Whale Exhibition Center

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Hallgrimskirkja

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National Museum

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Laugavegur (street)

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Reykjavík

Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world. Despite a small population (120.000 and more tha...

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Perlan

Perlan ('The Pearl') is a museum and rotating glass dome built on top of six water tanks that together store 24 million litres of Reykjav&ia...

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Ásmundarsafn

  Asmundarsafn in Laugardalur valley in Reykjavik is a museum dedicated to the works of Icelandic sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson. Along with the ...

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Nauthólsvík

  Nautholsvik beach is a highly popular resort, located southwest of Oskjuhlid in Reykjavik. Nautholsvik offers great opportunites for for...

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Seltjarnarnes

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Dynjandi

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Laugardalur

  Laugardalur valley is an area  in Reykjavik. Among its attractions are the remains of the old washing pools - from which the valley ...

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Viðey

From the Skarfabakki pier at Sundahofn harbour in Reykjavik (around 5 km from the center) you can take a ferry to Videy island in Kollafjordur bay. V...

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Kópavogur

Kópavogur is a municipality in the Capital Region of Iceland. It is the largest town of those surrounding Reykjavík City, as well a...

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Elliðaá

  Ellidaa is a river inside the Reykjavik area. Its source are two smaller rivers in the Blafjoll mountain range and the Hengill area that flow ...

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Bessastaðir

  Bessastadir is the official residence of the president of Iceland and is situated in Alftanes, near Reykjavik. In the 19th century Iceland&&#;...

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