Postcard from HARPA

June 27, 2013 in Europe,Iceland,Places

While the architecture in Reykjavik is charming, colorful, functional–it’s not exactly cutting-edge. The one exception is HARPA. Finished in 2011, it was originally part of a redevelopment effort that was abandoned when the financial crisis devastated Iceland in 2008. Although the completion of the structure was uncertain, the government decided to fully fund the rest of the building to create Reykjavik’s purpose-built concert hall.

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Although it’s surely incredible as a music venue, it’s also just a beautifully interesting building. It’s free to enter and it’s a dream to photograph: all angles and glass and perspective, we spent hours wandering around with our cameras and iPhones. We stumbled across a string quartet practicing in a corner, flipped through a stack of Icelandic books in a music shop, ate a snack on the couch. One of the most unexpected surprises in this capital city.

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

How awesome would one of these shots be as a cool canvas print? I love the geometric shapes and the abstract nature of the shots: you can’t quite tell what’s glass, what’s the sky, what’s a mirror or a window. I love decorating with those prints of those little details that you can’t quite place: the latch on a brightly colored shutter in Nice or  a close-up of the base of the Eiffel Tower. I’m planning on getting a couple of cheap prints made up of these to decorate my living room: they’re perfect conversation pieces, just like the entire HARPA structure.

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

What’s your favorite photo of HARPA? 

 

  • Casey

    Wes stayed right across the street from this in Iceland (I can see our hotel on the corner there in your last photo) but never went inside… it was an interesting building. Our guide one day was telling us it’s like the largest concert hall in scandinavia or something but that the Icelandic people thought it was kind of stupid to spend the money on it because why would Iceland need the largest concert hall? Thought it was interesting!

  • Guest

    ouu thanks for this…this is what i do. 🙂

  • ou, thanks for this …this is what i do, so good to see~!

  • KaleenasKaleidoscope

    Wow, great photos! I really love the first one where you can see you taking the picture in one small pane of glass. Looks like a cool place! 🙂

  • zof

    I’m dying to see Iceland lately. Shall I blame your blog?;-)

  • Gorgeous. It kind of reminds me of a few libraries I’ve visited.

  • camorose

    Yes, it’s definitely controversial–we heard lots of opinions about it! I thought it was a pretty fantastic building and such a contract to the rest of Reykjavik.

  • camorose

    Glad you liked it!

  • camorose

    Yay you spotted me! Had fun taking that photo 🙂

  • camorose

    I will totally accept that blame 🙂

  • camorose

    It was very cool!

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