The winner of the European Union prize for Contemporary Architecture “Mies van der Rohe” 2013, arch. Ósbjørn Jacobsen, is the special guest of the fifth edition of RIFF International Architecture Expo Conference. Architect Ósbjørn Jacobsen, partner of Henning Larsen Architects – Denmark, will present in Bucharest, in November, the awarded project, Harpa – Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik.
Harpa gathers inspiration from the northern lights and the dramatic Icelandic scenery. Situated on the border between land and sea, the Concert Hall stands out as a large, radiant sculpture reflecting both sky and harbour space as well as the vibrant life of the city. The spectacular facades have been designed in close collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects, the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and the engineering companies Rambøll and ArtEngineering GmbH from Germany.
The Concert Hall of 28,000 m2 is situated in a solitary spot with a clear view of the enormous sea and the mountains surrounding Reykjavik. The building features an arrival and foyer area in the front of the building, four halls in the middle and a backstage area with offices, administration, rehearsal hall and changing room in the back of the building. The three large halls are placed next to each other with public access on the south side and backstage access from the north. The fourth floor is a multifunctional hall with room for more intimate shows and banquets. Seen from the foyer, the halls form a mountain-like massif that similar to basalt rock on the coast forms a stark contrast to the expressive and open facade. At the core of the rock, the largest hall of the building, the main concert hall, reveals its interior as a red-hot centre of force. The project is designed in collaboration with the local architectural company, Batteríið Architects.
European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award is granted every two years to acknowledge and reward quality production in Europe. In this way, the Award draws attention to the major contribution by European professionals to the development of new ideas and technologies. At the same time, it offers both individuals and public institutions an opportunity to reach a clearer understanding of the cultural role of architecture in the construction of our cities. Furthermore, the Award sets out to foster architecture in two significant ways: by stimulating greater circulation of professional architects throughout the entire European Union in response to transnational commissions and by supporting young architects as they set off on their careers.
Henning Larsen Architects is one of the most international architecture companies in Denmark with projects in more than 20 countries. The company currently employs approx. 190 people.
RIFF 2014 is part of the series of international architecture expo conference organized this year by ABplus Events in Bucharest, Warsaw and Budapest, together with the Order of the Architects of Romania, the Association of Polish Architects and the Chamber of Hungarian Architects.