When a private building generates public space.

The proposal area is extremely sensitive. This is the heart of Iceland itself. Any architectural action in the area should be aware of this and understand very well the surroundingst.

In Reykjavik, Iceland capital they wanted to build a big new hotel in Ingolfstorg, a public existing plaza in Kvosin, the city historical center, very close to the Iceland Parliament.
The program was asking for a way too big building that couldn´t work well with the existing city pattern. There are no big buildings on this area.

OOIIO Architecture team decided to break the big hotel into 2 hotels. This decision make all the program to work much better, not only because the size of the buildings is more suitable with the historical center, also because the client could build now the buildings in different phases, and if he wants, use building A as a 5 stars hotel and building B as a 4 stars hotel, so the scheme is more flexible for its economical benefits.

The proposal is a combination of a good and functional hotels, restaurants and shops, mixed with very contemporary public areas, opened to the city of Reykjavik, looking forward to become a new city attraction. This combination public + hotel and commercial will definitely become a great profit for both, city and the hotel developer client.

To attract even more public to this new building-open space, OOIIO Architecture decided to design a light-patio installation on the center of the main building, that combined with the ground excavation, generates a great contemporary space able to be used as a cultural platform for the local or international artist, where they can project any kind of light performance. It will become a space similar to what it is now Times Square for New York or Piccadilly Circus to London, but in a new format and on a adequate scale to Reykjavik.

Link to other Experiments by OOIIO Architecture.

  • Status: Competition.
  • Project Year: 2012.
  • Location: Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • Area: 4.500 m2.
  • Design: OOIIO Architecture.
  • Team: Joaquin Millan, Belen Gomez, Javier Urrutia, Kristinn R. Olafsson, Gema Lopez, Marta Cacho.
  • Client: Private.