Reykjavik art museum – Hafnarhúsið

The Reykjavik Art Museum took possession of its portion of Hafnarhús (Harbour House) in April 2000. Located in downtown Reykjavik by the harbour, the building serves as the Reykjavik Art Museum’s institute of contemporary art.

Hafnarhús was built in 1932-39 for the offices and warehouses of Reykjavik Harbour and was at that time one of the largest buildings in the country. Its central courtyard is a rare feature in Icelandic architecture. Detailed sources on the building’s design are lacking, as the original plans were lost.

Architects Margrét Harðardóttir and Steve Christer directed the renovation of the portion of the building which houses the art museum. Care was taken to preserve as much as possible of the building’s original architecture. The museum comprises six galleries, the courtyard, and a multi-purpose room.

Hafnarhús is home to the Erró collection and maintains an exhibition series devoted to the works of this famous Icelandic Pop artist.

The Courtyard portion of the building is a very unique venue, and has hosted many interesting events in the last few years, ranging from fashion shows and exhibitions to the most extinguished Gala dinners for heads of states. It is often referred to as an “empty canvas” and has the ability of being easily turned into whatever venue needed depending on the event’s theme. Due to this advantage the building is becoming ever popular as a venue for the MICE industry.