Harpa, Reykjavik's Concert and Conference Centre

The Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre, named Harpa, opened in May 2011. Located in the center of Reykjavik as a part of an extensive harbour development project in Reykjavik, the Harpa provides outstanding conference and concert facilities. Mannvit played a significant role in the engineering and design. The other cooperating engineering firms involved were Ramboll and Hnit. IAV was the principal contractor of the whole project and acoustics design done by Artec Consultants from the US. The main designers were Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects, Icelandic architectural firm Batteríid and visual artist Olafur Eliasson.  


Harpa - Mannvit.is (1)

Mannvit, in cooperation with Ramboll, was in charge of planning and designing of all electrical systems, preparation of tender documents and valuation of offers, roads, utilities, construction design, HVAC, fire safety and electrical design. The building’s structure, designed in 3-D, is complex and difficult to design and was the first large project in Iceland where a BIM (Building Information Modelling) was used for the entire engineering design.

Acoustic standards for the auditoriums were extraordinary and the entire HVAC and utility design was specially insulated from the steel structure with springs or rubber supports. The main concert room has an N1 acoustic rating, making it an ideal space for classical music performances. The air-conditioning cells were designed as “box-in-box”, separating them from the outer walls to ensure the acoustics met the highest standards available. Harpa is now the official home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera.


  • Construction design
  • Detailed design of HVAC systems
  • Fire safety
  • Electrical design
  • Roads
  • Utilities
28.000 m² 
4,000 tons 
Reinforcement bars
6,000,000 tons 
Seawater removed

The structure is 28,000 square meters (258,.000 sq. ft.) in size, 43 meters tall (141 ft.). The building’s bottom slab is 8,000 square meters and it has 2,500 tons of construction steel and 4,000 tons of reinforcement bars. Roughly 200,000 cubic meters of soil were removed from the site before construction began and over six million tons of seawater pumped out during construction. The glass façade, designed by Olafur Eliasson, deploys light, colour, and natural phenomena that give the structure a particularly unique look.


Harpa, Reykjavik's Concert and Conference Centre