29. December 2005

IPC has best offer in comprehensive tender for University Square

The proposal from IPC and its collaborators for the construction and design of University Square was selected as the most favourable in the recent tender for the project. It is planned that University Square will be constructed south of the University of Iceland’s Main Building, on two lots that lie adjacent to Alexandersstígur Lane.

According to the proposal, University Square will be housed in two independent but connected buildings. These buildings will be linked to the University campus in an unpretentious yet effective way. It has been proposed that the links connecting University Square with nearby buildings and activities should create a continuous pedestrian path leading from Oddi, surrounding both University Square buildings, and then swerving westward underneath Sudurgata Street. The new pedestrian network will be the nerve centre of the University Square, from which walkways will lie in all directions.

Great emphasis is placed on moulding University Square’s immediate surroundings. The Square itself, with its various activities and the balconies on the buildings, will create a sunny foreground for Alexandersstígur Lane, though care will be taken to ensure that the tunnel of trees is never entirely interrupted. A tiered grass hillside channels the light down to the foyer area outside the lecture halls in the lower part of the Square and is reminiscent of the arc in front of the University’s Main Building.

The two buildings will be approximately 8,600 square metres on two and three floors respectively, and they will contain facilities for 300 employees and 1500 students. One of the buildings will be located between the University’s Main Building and athletic facility, and it will be linked to Lögberg. The other will be built on the current parking lot serving Lögberg, Nýi Gardur, Árnagardur, and Oddi, and will be linked to Lögberg and Oddi. The buildings are intended to house various activities related to administration and student-staff services. Also in the University Square buildings will be lecture halls, classrooms, research facilities, reading rooms, and work space for students and faculty.

The architects are Hornsteinar and Teiknistofa Ingimundar Sveinssonar. Design will be completed this winter, and construction will commence next spring. Delivery is scheduled for year-end 2007. The cost of the construction will total some ISK 1.6 billion.


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