Reflecting the geography of its surroundings – the sky, the harbor and the city of Reykjavik – Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center opened in May 2011 and is home to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. Built in collaboration with renowned visual artist Olafur Eliasson, Harpa has a glass facade made up of geometric shapes that change color with the light of day.
Harpa boasts four halls, 1,800-seat auditorium, ample meeting space, catering services and boutiques. It also houses the Kolabrautin restaurant for fine dining and a ground floor bistro.
Harpa is a distinctive landmark in Reykjavik and we recommend that you pay the concert hall a visit. It offers a great view of mt. Esja and the Reykjavik harbor.
Design and construction of Harpa
Construction started in 2007 but was halted with the start of the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis. The completion of the structure was uncertain until the government decided in 2008 to fully fund the rest of the construction costs for the half-built concert hall.
The building is the first purpose-built concert hall in Reykjavik. It was developed in consultation with artistic adviser Vladimir Ashkenazy and international consultant Jasper Parrott of HarrisonParrott.
The main designers are Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects and Icelandic architectural firm Batteriid Architect in co-operation with the artist Olafur Eliasson. The geometric shaped glass panels are in many ways similar to the basalt columns. You can find columns like that in many places in Iceland, e.g. Svartifoss.
European Union awarded Harpa for contemporary architecture in April 2013, presented by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation and the European Commission.
Harpa is open every day from 8:00 to 24:00.
What to see in Harpa?
Harpa in a first and foremost a concert hall. However, there are daily guided tours where guests can see the concert halls and get a peak behind the curtains. There you will also find a visual tour of Iceland. Of course, there are many great concerts and events held there every week, so make sure you check the schedule by the ticket stand.
Is there an entry fee to Harpa?
No, it is free. However, the daily guided tours charge minimal fee.
Where is Harpa?
Harpa is located next to Reykjavik harbour and is easily recognizable by its exterior design.
GPS: 64.150475 N, -21.932876 W