Basalt in formation
Since the spring of 2007, designers at Henning Larsen and artist Ólafur Elíasson have been working on the final version of the 12,000 m2 glass shell that will encase the new concert hall and conference centre in downtown Reykjavík’s east harbour area. That design work is now nearing completion. The Board of the East Harbour Project has approved the designers’ fundamental ideas but is waiting with final approval until ideas on the colour scheme have been presented.
The designers’ ideas have evolved toward a view of the building as a creation growing out of a mountain of columnar basalt, where the south side is broken from the mountain so that the columns emerge from it. On the north side, the glass will no longer take the form of columnar basalt, as had been planned initially; rather, it creates a form based on ideas of transected basalt. The east and west sides of the building, which have been shown heretofore as conventional glass walls, will take the same shape, for the most part, as the north side, i.e. transected basalt.
A memorandum of understanding concerning the construction of the glass shell has been signed by IPC and a Chinese glass manufacturer, though the contractual agreement has yet to be finalised. Ólafur Elíasson’s proposals for colour scheme and mirrored glass are expected within a few weeks and will then be considered by the appropriate parties. The set-up of the glass shell is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2008.