Archive for June 19th, 2011

June 19, 2011

HARPA Concert Hall & Conference Center REYKJAVIK | HenningLarsen

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik gathers inspiration from the northern lights and the dramatic Icelandic scenery.

Situated on the border between land and sea, the Centre stands out as a large, radiant sculpture reflecting both sky and harbour space as well as the vibrant life of the city. The spectacular facades have been designed in close collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects, the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and the engineering companies Rambøll and ArtEngineering GmbH from Germany.

The Concert Hall and Conference Centre of 28,000 m2 is situated in a solitary spot with a clear view of the enormous sea and the mountains surrounding Reykjavik. The Centre features an arrival- and foyer area in the front of the building, four halls in the middle and a backstage area with offices, administration, rehearsal hall and changing room in the back of the building. The three large halls are placed next to each other with public access on the south side and backstage access from the north. The fourth floor is a multifunctional hall with room for more intimate shows and banquets.

Seen from the foyer, the halls form a mountain-like massif that similar to basalt rock on the coast forms a stark contrast to the expressive and open facade. At the core of the rock, the largest hall of the Centre, the main concert hall, reveals its interior as a red-hot centre of force.

The project is designed in collaboration with the local architectural company, Batteríið Architects.

Project facts

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Client: Austurnhofn TR – East Harbour Project Ltd.

Gross floor area: 28,000 m2

Year of construction: 2007 – 2011

Type of assignment: First prize in international PPP-competition, 2005

Landscape architects: Landslag efh

Artist: Olafur Eliasson

Operator and investor: Harpa / Portus Group

Engineers:  ArtEngineering GmbH, Mannvit, Hnit Verkis and Rambøll

Acoustics:  Artec

Contractor: IAV
 The Masterplan


Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre forms part of an extensive harbour development project in Reykjavik, the East Harbour Project. As the name indicates, the overall objective of the project is to expand and revitalise Reykjavik’s eastern harbour with a new downtown plaza, a shopping street, a hotel, residential buildings, educational institutions and mixed industry. The overall intention is to generate life in the area and to create a better connection between the city centre and the harbour.

Situated outside the city’s building mass, the building will become a significant icon in the city – a visual attractor with a powerful and varying expression. The isolated location will mean that, to a great extent, the changing climatic and light effects will be exposed in the facades of the concert building, often in contrast to the narrow and shady streets in the rest of the city.




Henning Larsen Architects has designed the facade of the Concert Hall in close collaboration with the local architects Batteríið Architects and the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.

As the rest of the building, the design of the facades is inspired by nature. In particular, the characteristic local basalt formations have provided the inspiration for the geometric facade structure.

Made of glass and steel in a twelve-sided space-filling geometric modular system called the ‘quasi-brick’, the building appears a kaleidoscopic play of colours, reflected in the more than 1000 quasi-bricks composing the southern facade. The remaining facades and the roof are made of sectional representations of this geometric system, resulting in two-dimensional flat facades of five and six-sided structural frames. In order to develop these ideas the team worked with three-dimensional computer models, finite element modelling, various digital visualisation techniques as well as maquettes, models and mock-ups.

Light and transparency are key elements in the building. The crystalline structure, created by the geometric figures of the facade, captures and reflects the light – promoting the dialogue between the building, city and surrounding landscape.

One of the main ideas has been to “dematerialise” the building as a static entity and let it respond to the surrounding colours – the city lights, ocean and glow of the sky. In this way, the expression of the facade changes according to the visual angle. With the continuously changing scenery, the building will appear in an endless variation of colours.

Process & Collaboration

The Concert Hall and Conference Centre is part of an extensive harbour development project in Reykjavik – the East Harbour Project. The project was initiated in 2004 as an PPP-competition, which means that the competing project groups – consisting of both private and public parties – are responsible for investments, construction and operations themselves. However, due to the difficult economic situation that Iceland has found herself in since autumn 2008, the municipality of Reykjavik and the Icelandic Government has attended to the completion of the project themselves.

Henning Larsen Architects applied for the prequalification and won the competition together with the team Portus Group consisted of the contracting company IAV, the operating company Nysir, private investor Landsbanki, the engineering company Rambøll, the local engineers Mannvit, the local company Batteríið Architects, the artist Olafur Eliasson and the company Artec Consultants from New York providing consulting services in acoustics.

The extensive international collaboration has resulted in entirely new work processes in which a high degree of information sharing and communication has been a both demanding and rewarding dimension. In 2008, an exhibition at Reykjavik Visitor Centre has provided visitors with an insight into the process and the many different parties’ approaches and demands.—concert-hall-and-conference-centre.aspx



As member of the Danish-Icelandic consortium Portus Group Henning Larsen Architects won the competition to revitalise the area around the eastern harbour in Reykjavik. The project comprises an 85,000 m² masterplan with the overall objective to improve the connection between the city centre and the harbour.

Project facts

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Client: Austurhofn, East Harbour Project

Gross floor area: 85,000 m2

Year of construction: 2005 – 2006

Type of assignment: First prize in international competition








June 19, 2011

Gymnase du Lycee Louis Bleriot | Christophe Gulizzi Architecte

Project Details:
Location: Marignane, France
Type: Sports – Public – Educational
Architect(s): Christophe Gulizzi Architecte –
Program: Gymnasium, dance room, weight room, moving a boiler, creating a plateau of athletics and tea combined sports.
Site Area: 2978 sq ft outdoor space
Built-up-Area: 1538 sq ft
Budget: 2 620 000.00 € ht
Photos: Philippe Ruault – Vincent Fillon

Call it a proposal extended
A project that is not limited solely to the question of image,
The evocation of the game,
The excitement of the effort,

To begin,
Show a visible and immediate reality;
As a “playground” the playground of the gym has become “screened”
This clarity of intention translates into a clear
See and be seen.

North and south facades are fully glazed
It is a macro-wire mesh
A square mesh of 2.62 m side,
44 meters long, 8 feet high,
148 glazed tiles of 2.42 m sides,
115 tons of steel, sliding bearings, GBE recessed …

But also
Breathe more secret and unseen reality;
That exudes elegance and mystery
Fear and eroticism intimately connected,
That draws its inspiration from the desire
The suggestion
Brutalist archaic and it is a metaphorical interpretation,
A sense of playfulness,
A dreamlike feeling,
A disorder of the concept,
One form of uncertainty of reason,

The auxiliary elements of the program,
Left side of the gymnasium,
Two abutments mineral depict the “stage”
The sublime
Strengthen the urban space,
Uncompromising aesthetic

It is a project prepaid
Without plastic reference immediate
Not a container functions,
Shapes or materials in fashion
But performance technology for aesthetics,
Tactical dialogue between architect and engineer,
A four, four, two, operating.

In this configuration of the space devoted
Guarantor of an attitude design signifying
Is the establishment of a separate device,
From a process
This composition is not a substitute for truth,
Just away from the current academic,

Between reality and appearances …

Protected site, because of its proximity to the Chapelle St-Nicolas, draft submitted to the opinion of the Architect of the buildings in France.
Occupied site, near the high school workshops.

Amounts in rectangular hollow inclined at 45 ° to 150 x 200 mm section form a “big grid”.
A series of beams PRS coverage of variable section. The link between these beams and uprights is provided on each facade, with a purlin enhanced by a parapet.
The facades are constructed on sliding bearings and to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal.
Moreover, these supports are crossed by downspouts integrated posts.
50% of the amounts are low profile one piece from top to bottom. They will resume the local buckling alone. Other amounts are welded 2m which work only compression.

The EP will have the following path:
The gutters on Eaves Beam level.
Five weirs by frontage located between beams
Conducted to measure for the circumvention of the purlin, which led to problems in the hollow of amounts 150 x 200.
Elbows embedded in the foundation sill.

The glasses are made of safety glass type STADIP.
The frames are all equipped with a single glazed laminated safety type SATDIP 55.2.
Dimensions: 242 x 242