Harpa Concert Hall wins the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2013
Harpa, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Iceland, is the winner of the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation announced today. Designed by Henning Larsen Architects, Batteríið Architects and Studio Olafur Eliasson the building has helped to transform and revitalise Reykjavik harbour and brought the city and harbour district closer together. The ‘Emerging Architect Special Mention’ award goes to María Langarita and Víctor Navarro for the Nave de Música Matadero (Red Bull Music Academy) in Madrid, Spain. The award ceremony will take place on 7 June at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, coinciding with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the prize. More information after the break.
Designed and directed by Iceland based architect Marcos Zotes and his studio UNSTABLE, their Pixel Cloud installation is the winning competition entry for the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival 2013, organized by Höfuðborgarstofa, Orkusalan and the Iceland Design Center. The installation creates an opportunity for Icelanders to reconsider the use and management of their urban public spaces. With the current financial situation leaving a permanent landscape of obsolete scaffolding structures scattered across the city, this has resulted in urban scars that remind us of the fragility of their current society. This installation takes advantage of this condition by transforming an ordinary scaffolding structure into a fully immersive environment of light and sound in the heart of Reykjavík. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed for the “Vigdis Foundation”, the Languages Center aims to be a rational building, where modulation is a key aspect. Designed by OOIIO Architecture, there is no architectural excess that might increase the budget, but quite singular and special at the same time, comfortable for users and interesting enough to get the pedestrians attention. Built to host exhibitions, a cinema-theater, café, library, and more, the construction of the building is efficient, quick and with a rational materials use. More images and architects’ description after the break.More images and architects’ description after the break.
As part of the ‘Valtari’ Mystery film experiment of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós, the video for Varúð was released few days ago. Directed by Ryan McGingley, it shows New York in a magnificent way as we architects would like to move around.
In his own words… “this piece is my poem to New York City. I wanted to bring a childhood innocence to the streets, through a character whose own light and wonder effects the world around her. I’m always interested in an atmosphere where dreams and reality mingle on equal terms.”
Based on natural light, open spaces and greenery such as peat, grass and flowers, the proposal by OOIIO Architecture for the Female Prison in Iceland dismisses the dark spaces, small cells and grey concrete walls typical of a traditional prison. The construction will be economical and efficient while not giving off the appearance of a typical penitentiary and increasing a sense of freedom. More images and architects’ description after the break.
New York-based architect and artist Marcos Zotes, together with his multidisciplinary team of collaborators, transformed the largest church in Iceland, Hallgrímskirkja Church, into a spectacular and interactive light installation titled “RAFMÖGNUÐ NÁTTÚRA”. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Designed by Henning Larsen Architects and Batteriid Architects, the Harpa Concert Hall was one of the finalists for Building of the Year. On the border between land and sea, the Center stands out as a large, radiant sculpture reflecting both sky and harbor space as well as the vibrant life of the city. This is all very elegantly represented in Pedro Kok‘s video which gives us more insight to the building from multiple viewpoints.
In 1990 Reykjavík Geothermal Heating Authority launched an open competition for a housing design for the hot water wells. PK Arkitektrar’s provided the winning design out of over 80 entries. This is the first of these buildings with others scheduled accordingly. These structures will stand as a symbol of the city of Reykjavík’s commitment to the utilization of the natural resources.
The Geothermal Pump Station is a 14 sqm steel structure (3 by 6.5 meters) constructed of two stainless steel clad curvilinear walls separated by a door at each end. It prefabricated at an off site shop and transported in one piece to a hot water well. The building houses the mechanism on top of the well, that pumps the water to a central control from where it is distributed throughout the city.
More about this interesting project, drawings, photographs, and history of Reykjavík’s change to geothermal heating following the break.
Architects: PK Arkitektar
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Design Team: Pálmar Kristmundsson and Björn Skaptason
Consultants: Fjarhitun Engineers
Project Area: 14 sqm
Project Year: 1996 to date
Photographs: Spessi, Rafael Pinho, and Pálmar Kristmundsson