Cultural and conference center in Akureyri

A cultural hub in Akureyri

In Akureyri, Iceland, the city's residents are passionate about music, and here, a cultural center located right by the fjord in the country's second-largest city forms a cultural focal point for the city and its 20,000 inhabitants. The unique location means that the cultural center is integrated as a natural part of the city's central squares and pedestrian streets.
  • Akureyri Municipality and the Icelandic Ministry of Culture
  • Location
    Akureyri, Island
  • Year
  • Size
  • Awards
    1st prize in an open idea competition in 2004
  • Architect
    Arkitema Architects og Arkthing
  • Landscape
    Arkitema Urban Design
Arkitema Kulturhus Akureyri 06 web

From a distance, the cultural center, with its circular building structure, establishes an open relationship with the public street space. The choice of materials is rooted in Icelandic nature, with an exterior cladding of the unique Icelandic basalt, Studlaberg, which breaks naturally into hexagons. The robust facade presents an organic rhythm, as the tall and narrow windows are placed and guided by the need for daylight in the various functions.

Arkitema Kulturhus Akureyri 13 web
The choice of materials is anchored in Icelandic nature, with an exterior cladding of the distinctive Icelandic basalt, Studlaberg, which naturally breaks into hexagons.
Arkitema Akureyri Photo Lars Just 05 web

The interior of the house also evokes associations with nature. Here, the internal public street layout is experienced as a canyon between rock walls. Smaller openings in the rock walls provide access to the cultural functions: the large music hall for 600 spectators, a multi-purpose hall, and a sculpture garden. In addition to music halls, the cultural center also houses the city's municipal music school.

Arkitema Akureyri Photo Lars Just 04 web
Arkitema Akureyri Photo Lars Just 03 web

It is possible to visit parts of the cultural center outside of its opening hours. Here, visitors can, among other things, visit the café, enjoy a magnificent view over the fjord, or experience an Icelandic landscape in all its splendor.

Arkitema Akureyri Photo Lars Just 02 web