Olafur Eliasson plays architect

Photos by Osbjørn Jacobsen

The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavik has remained merely a proposal for decades, but now, after Iceland’s recent economic collapse, plans for construction are finally underway and 300,000-square-foot performing arts venue is slated for completion next May. Henning Larsen Architects, who just won a major award for their Zaha Hadid-inspired aquarium in Georgia, took a decidedly more straight-edged approach with their design for Reykjavik’s East Harbor district.

Olafur Eliasson lent a hand on the exterior, a honeycombed facade made of steel and colored glass, which Eliasson says was inspired by the crystallized basalt columns common in Iceland, while the south side of the building boasts the most LED lights ever used in a structure in the world.