Jun 18, 2013 Architecture
Headed to Reykjavik this summer? We asked some of the local designers and architects about their best tips and favorites to the capital city.
Here are architect Pétur Ármannsson‘s recommendations for an architecture walk in Reykjavik paired with illustrations by our super intern Florian Lohse. So interesting we might just take a walk around the neighborhood, ourselves… We hope you’ll like it too, enjoy!
1. Old Reykjavik
A walk through old part of Reykjavik, including Aðalstræti, Grjótaþorp, Vesturgata and the area around Christ´s Church at Landakot. Don´t miss the harbor area in the west end.
2. Einar Jónsson sculpture museum
A visit to the Einar Jónsson sculpture Museum at Skólavörðuholt. Don´t miss the spiral stair inside a large column and the artist´s penthouse apartment on the top floor.
3. The Nordic House
The Nordic House by finnish architect Alvar Aalto. For those who have not seen an Aalto building before, the Nordic House is a very good introduction to his architecture, featuring a typical Aalto library, lecture hall etc.
4. Reykjavik Swimming Hall
The Reykjavik Swimming Hall (Sundhöll Reykjavikur) by State architect Guðjón Samúelsson (1887-1950). The ingenious layout of the dressing rooms has been an inspiration for both artists and architects.
5. Walk around Tjörnin
A walk around the Lake (Tjörnin) in centre of town, with beautiful wooden houses from the early 1900s. Too see recent Icelandic architecture, visit Reykjavik City Hall by Studio Granda (Margrét Harðardóttir and Steve Christer), based on a 1rst prize competition project from 1987.
6. Viðey Island
A boat trip to the island to Viðey on a nice day. The Videy residence is the first stone building to be erected in Iceland, built in 1753-55 after plans by danish crown-architect Nicolai Eigtved. The small chapel next to it is from the same period has one of the oldest church interiors in Iceland. If time allows, take a walk to the west end to the island to see the the environmental sculpture Milestone by US sculptor Richard Serra.
7. Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum
A visit to Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum at Sigtún, Reykjavík, originally designed and built in stages by the artist himself, including a dome out of concrete.
8. Árbær Museum
A visit to the Árbær Museum (an open air museum with restored historic houses) to seen examples of vernacular turf and stone architecture (Arbær farmhouse and church) and some 19th century stone and wood houses from Reykjavík (steinbæir), like Hábær and Nýlenda.
Illustrations by Florian Lohse