Project information

  1. Location Reykjavik‚ Iceland
  2. Area6.300 m²

Project details

  1. Year2022
  2. StatusCompetition proposal
  3. Partners Gagarín
  4. Client Reykjavík Municipality
  5. Enquiries Helgi Mar Hallgrímsson
  6. Scope Interior design
    Culture buildings

Our competition proposal for Grófarhús transforms the original harbour warehouse to a world-class cultural and community building in the centre of Reykjavík. This is a space for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy a range of diverse amenities and experiences.

Modern and inviting

The main emphasis of our design was to improve flexibility and intuitive flow throughout the building. This is supported by double-height spaces and large stairwells with ample natural light. The main entrance is sheltered by the upper floors. Additional entrances create an internal path, connecting all sides of the building and attracting visitors from all directions. The ground floor houses an exhibition hall and an informal multi-use space for lounging and relaxing.

Multi-use spaces

Large staircases lead guests up to the second floor, an attractive place to relax and socialise. This is dedicated to children of all ages and - to safely explore, play and participate in story time or organised events. A significant feature here is a large open space with double-height ceilings in the northeast corner offering a view to the sea.

The third level, mostly dedicated to teenagers, is an informal environment to hang out, socialise with friends, play video games, or read a book.

The fourth and fifth levels house a variety of multi-use spaces used for collaborating - adaptive to also suit other needs. At the top, on the sixth level is a lounge area with a rooftop bar with access to a large rooftop garden with a stunning view of the city.

Honest materials and transparent facades

Despite the dramatic transformation, the design respects and preserves the history of the building. Most of the columns and floor slabs will remain, along with the column structure in the exterior walls. As the main material of the original houses is concrete, we chose fibre-reinforced concrete cladding for the exterior.

For selected surfaces, an embedded pattern in the concrete cladding will be used as a reference to the traditional exterior cladding. For windows and doors, the use of bronze-coloured electro-armoured aluminium will provide warmth against the concrete. Concrete features are also used for the interior, with the addition of timber in the central core to provide a warming accent. The building's exterior walls come alive with plant life, environmental graphics and visions of interior activities revealed by large windows.