Iceland Airwaves is just about to start, and we cannot wait! Some of the festival venues are a treat for architecture fans, too.


Reykjavik’s award-winning concert hall Harpa isn’t just a classical venue. During Airwaves, it will host everything to Kraftwerk to noise to electro. Even the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra takes part!


Harpa’s glass façade was designed by renowned artist Olafur Eliasson, in cooperation with Henning Larsen Architects. Made of a twelve-sided space-filler of glass and steel that Eliasson calls ‘quasi brick’, the building appears as an ever-changing play of colour, reflected in the more than 1,000 three-dimensional 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.

We cannot wait to see the facade light installations change colour in the rhythm of Autobahn.

(See our QA with the sound designers here.)


Founded in 1973, the Reykjavík Art Museum operates in what used to be a harbour warehouse.  During its renovation managed by Studio Granda, special care was taken to preserve as much as possible of the building’s original architecture. The outcome is a beautiful, minimal space that gives a striking backdrop to the concerts.


The National Theatre of Iceland was designed by Iceland’s first state architect Gudjón Samúelsson. Opened in 1950, it’s architecture is inspired by the natural geology of Iceland, especially the basalt columns such as those at Svartifoss.



Images by Adriana Pacheco