History and museums
Harpa is a concert hall and conference centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. The opening concert was held on May 4, 2011.
Harpa was designed by the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects in co-operation with Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The structure consists of a steel framework clad with geometric shaped glass panels of different colours. The building was originally part of a redevelopment of the Austurhöfn area dubbed World Trade Center Reykjavík, which was partially abandoned when the financial crisis took hold. The development was intended to include a 400-room hotel, luxury apartments, retail units, restaurants, a car park and the new headquarters of Icelandic bank Landsbanki.
The completion of the structure was uncertain until the government decided in 2008 to fully fund the rest of the construction costs for the half-built concert hall. For several years it was the only construction project in existence in Iceland. The building was given its name on the Day of Icelandic Music on 11 December 2009, prior to which it was called The Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre (Icelandic: Tónlistar- og ráðstefnuhúsið í Reykjavík). The building is the first purpose-built concert hall in Reykjavík and it was developed in consultation with artistic advisor Vladimir Ashkenazy and international consultant Jasper Parrott of HarrisonParrott. It houses the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the offices of The Icelandic Opera.
Harpa is operated by Portus, a company owned by the Icelandic government and the City of Reykjavík.