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A Symphony of Light

Reykjavik’s Harpa Concert and Conference Centre features a luminous reflective façade by Olafur Eliasson.

A Symphony of Light


May 5th, 2011

Standing like a beacon between land and sea in Reykjavik’s East Harbour, the Harpa Concert and Conference Centre – completed this year – forms part of a larger project that aims to revitalise the local area and create a connection between the city centre and harbour.


The building is a collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects, Batteriid Architects and artist Olafur Eliasson – whose beautiful Take Your Time exhibition came to Australia early last year.

Eliasson takes inspiration from nature in all his work, exploring how we interact with our natural environment. His design for the concert hall’s façade is no different.



Made from glass and steel combined to form a geometric modular system, the façade is all about transparency and light, giving the impression that the building is a vibrant, moving entity.


Light is reflected by the glass, the patterns shifting according to the season, time of day and the angle at which the building is viewed.


Sections of the glass bricks are embedded with strips of coloured LED, creating an ever-changing display of colour and light.

The interplay will create a striking effect in a city that spends a larger part of its day immersed in darkness or dusk.


Henning Larsen Architects

Batteriid Architects

Olafur Eliasson

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