4 May 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Harpa!

Harpa, Reykjavik's incredible concert hall, has now been open for two years.

It took a long time coming, and on my visit in 2009 completion looked a long way off - just a shell, with a few seemingly unused cranes hanging idly overhead.

It was eventually completed with the help of the Icelandic Government and the first concert was held on 4th May 2011 (official opening date was 13th May 2011). During my visit in 2012 I saw it in the distance, along the shore from the Sun Voyager sculpture, clocked that it had been finished, but didn't venture towards it as I was pushed for time. This time I took the time to visit and I'm very glad I did, as it's an incredible building, both inside and out - €164m well-spent! It was designed by Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects, in conjunction with an Icelandic-Danish sculptor Olafur Eliasson (who designed the intricate facade of glass and steel, as well as the Weather installation in London's Tate Modern a few years back). Sadly I didn't realise that you could actually go inside the concert hall, but I was wowed by the extensive network of atria and stairways, with the stunning shadows cast from the crazy window design. Next time I'll spend a bit longer and explore even more. Here's a few shots to get a feel for the place and how the design casts hundreds of beautiful shadows. If you go to Reykjavik, it's definitely worth a look!

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