Efstaleiti - Reykjavik Radio District (Arkthing)

Project information

  1. Location Reykjavik‚ Iceland
  2. Area590.000 m²

Project details

  1. Year2016 — ongoing
  2. StatusUnder development
  3. Client The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service,
    City of Reykjavik,
    Skuggi ehf
  4. Enquiries Helgi Mar Hallgrímsson
  5. Scope Urban planning
    Residential design
    Workplace design
    BIM

Competition win

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service building (completed in 1984) was initially designed to be the first phase of a whole complex of buildings. After standing alone for for 30 years surrounded by huge parking lots and green fields, the City of Reykjavik launched an architectural competition for the development of the area.

We won the the competition in 2016 and have been working on the urban plan as well as the design for about a third of the new buildings in the district, which are under construction at the moment.

Spectacular views

The new Radio District is located on a hill, centrally in Reykjavik, with great views over the city and the mountains. The vision for the area was to create a dense urban environment combined with qualities usually associated with sub-urban areas, such as private gardens, plenty of daylight and spectacular views to the surroundings. 

Maximising sun and views

South of the Broadcasting building  there is a series of freestanding apartment blocks, where every apartment has windows in at least two directions. On the northern part of the area, the classic courtyard block typology is broken up into smaller units with different heights. The northern buildings are higher and the southern buildings lower in order to maximise sunlight and views. An unusually high number of flats have private gardens or roof gardens, which is made possible by the heights differences.

The northernmost buildings have retail and service units on the ground level and a space dedicated to a café that connects the street to one of the courtyards.