On the 20th of August 2011 Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavik, Iceland – the home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera – was celebrating its official opening. Construction started the gigantic structure on the 12th of January 2007, and had its first opening concert on the 4th of May 2011 while the building was still in final touch-up stages. The Harpa Concert Hall is situated next to the sea reflecting a connection between water and land in its design.
The structure’s curtain walls are made of the repetition of a glass and steel semi-crystal panel called quasi-bricks. The glass side of the façade reflects different colors, depending on the time of the day, season, weather conditions and reflection of other objects around.
The project was designed by Danish company Henning Larsen Architects along with local firm Batteríið, while the façade was developed by the famous Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The acoustics of the Harpa halls is designed by Artec Consultants Inc from New York, USA. Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center has an area of 28.000 sq m (258.000 sq ft) and is 43 meters tall with the bottom slab being the largest with an area of 8.000 sq m, all sitting on 60.000 sq m site, with and approximate cost of $150,000,000. It consists of the four halls: main concert hall with 1600 seats, rehearsal hall which can also be used as a smaller concert hall (up to 450 seats), chamber hall with 200 seats and conference hall seating up to 750 people, along with two meeting rooms seating 63 people each, conference service and 8 small meeting rooms.
The whole philosophy of the Harpa is to combine the music hall and the conference center with meeting facilities, covering concerts and cultural events, meetings for small and large groups providing it all with high standard equipment and in-house catering and restaurants. Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center is a new modern landmark to the Reykjavik’s historic harbor representing a dynamic city’s development.