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Ways to Experience Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre
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Reviews (7,546)
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Reviewed 5 April 2018

This is definitely worth going to see even if you don't see a concert. The building is incredible and truly beautiful. A short walk from the city centre and free to look around.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Becky S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

The Harpa is the concert / conference venue at the edge of the harbor. It was built to house the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, which had been performing in a movie theater. Started in 2007 as a public / private project, it was 40% complete when the Icelandic economy tanked in 2008. At that point, with the private partners bankrupt, the government had to decide whether to continue. They did, with a somewhat scaled-back version. The design, by Olafur Eliasson who was born in Iceland but raised in Denmark, is inspired by Iceland’s volcanic geology. The interior is mostly a matte black, meant to evoke basalt. The side facing away from the harbor comprises 10,000 windows rising three stories and arranged in three dimensions like basalt columns, which also serves to create a thermal baffle. LEDs run along the sides of the windows, so the whole wall becomes a canvas for changing images at night. The complex contains a big concert hall and three smaller halls. The concert hall is a brilliant red, representing lava, with lots of moveable parts (ceiling over orchestra, e.g.) which allow it to be “tuned”. The guide says it can change the speed of reverberation from 1 second to 3.7 seconds (!), the longer time needed for organ music (the hall was supposed to have an organ, but that was cut in 2008. You can see where it will be installed.). On the outside edge of each side of the auditorium seating is a hidden hallway about 12 feet wide which can be covered with cloth (or not) to change the acoustics. The building has won awards both for its architecture and its acoustics. The tour is short, but I’m glad I went; the building is amazing! It would have been wonderful to have gone to a concert there.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Dzumbush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

I really regret not seeing a concert here while we were visiting Iceland. However, we did get to explore the hall. It is quite beautiful and symbolic of Iceland. One night we saw lights flashing through the windows.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank bookworm8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

Found this hall while we was on a short walk from our hotel. Wow, what a building, amazing architecture.
Looks even better at night lit up.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank vinniethespark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

We visited the concert hall and we found that it has a very interesting architecture but a very dull color on the inside.
We took many photos because the glass ceiling and external wall are amazing.
You also have a great view of the peer and the ocean. You can sit and amaze! :)
The building looks colorful and vibrant at night thanks to all the lights mirrored off the glass wall.
A great plus is that you can visit it without paying a ticket.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank gabriellakondasz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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