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The most popular building in Reykjavik
Reykjavík and surrounding
Architecture,  Culture, Traditions, Folklore
Culture, Traditions, Folklore

Harpa is the most famous concert hall in Reykjavik. It started working only recently, in 2011, but quickly became popular with residents of Iceland and tourists. The fact is that it has unusual architectural forms and has a glass facade that is beautifully illuminated at night.

The construction of Harpa took 4 years, from 2007 to 2011. The object was created by the Icelandic-Danish architect Olafur Elliason together with the Danish company Henning Larsen Architects. A considerable sum of 164 million euros was spent on its construction. However, now we can observe a very modest version of the object. It was originally planned that the building would house a 400-room hotel, apartments, restaurants, a shopping area and the main office of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki. But the 2008 crisis prevented the creators from fully realizing their imaginations. Notably, at one time the new concert hall was the only structure under construction in Iceland. All others were suspended until more favorable times. By the way, this is the only building in the whole country that was built exclusively for music concerts. It is not surprising that experts say that there is one of the best acoustics in Europe.

Harpa is known throughout the country for its rehearsals and concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. The building has 4 performance halls. The capacity of the largest is 1,8 thousand people. Besides, there are two restaurants, shops, and facilities for lectures and seminars.

The walls of the facade are made of a kind of honeycomb of different shapes. Some of them are painted in light yellow and light blue so that during the day they are unusually illuminated and shimmer in the sunlight. This architectural solution has a hidden meaning: if you look closely, the "honeycomb" resembles basalt columns, which are known throughout the world.

Address: Austurbakki 2

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