Iceland's Ragnarokkin' New Opera House Designed To Be Elf-Friendly
Maybe you don't get over to Reykjavik very often, but the old Viking homestead is a crazy mix of old and modern architecture. Joining the skyline will be the Icelandic Opera House, an icy glass fortress that changes colors throughout the day. Designed by a man whose middle name is Thor, the transparent cube and enclosed 820-seat theater are situated upon a hill known for its magical elf population. What now? Elves, you say?
LED lighting has become a constant in modern architecture—in this case, the LEDs are nested inside the joints of the glass cube, and change color and intensity throughout the day. Though it's not clear whether Hallgrimur Thor Sigurdsson and the design firms Arkitema and Arkthing had this in mind, but the lighting would probably serve the community well, combating seasonal affective disorder on those long long northern winter nights.)
Within the structure are the concert hall, a restaurant and five roof gardens. The square theme continues throughout, where even the box seats in the main hall look like haphazardly arranged cubes.
Great, but what about the elves? It seems the building will be situated atop Borgaholt Hill as a tribute to elves who deep within its caverns (rather like dwarves, if you ask me).
Deep underground, in the highlands and under the cliffs around Iceland live the elves. Their dens are not visible from the outside, but it is believed that they live underground somewhere or other. From the outside the elves’ homes are dark and enclosed, but from the inside a radiant and crystalline space is revealed. The Opera’s expressional form with its heavy and massive lower floor level and its light and crystalline upper floor level refers to the mythical home of the elves.