site Nordaustuvegur, Húsavík, IS
client Nordic House, Cultural Center for the Nordic Countries, Sturlugata 5 - 101 Reykjavik, IS
team O. Bogdan, T. Boogaerts, T. Rigby, L. Van Broeck, M. Valério
surface 1 500 m² gross
budget 2 000 000 euro excl. vat and fees
timing design 2012
status design
project code 0050HUS


Located across the church, the Gardarsholm Centre is a link connecting the mountains and the shore, the city and the harbour, the land and the sea, the past and the future, Iceland and the entire world. It talks about fishing, forestation, the history of Iceland and, as Iceland’s story became a global story, the environment worldwide.
The centre is meant to accommodate a wide range of functions: an ecological awareness centre, a community centre, a cultural centre, an information centre, a visitors centre, a conference centre, a research and science centre, a boat restoration centre, a tree nursery, a shop, a cafeteria, an auditorium, a cinema, a ballroom, classrooms etc. Thanks to a flexible concept all these functions can be combined into one compact volume: a recycled two-storey fishermens’ building transformed into a three-storey building by wrapping a greenhouse around it. The harbour level and the intermediate level of the building become flexible floors that can host a wide range of programs, exhibition spaces, black boxes, etc.; the street level is an open space with a green landscape, continuous inside and outside, sloping down into the harbour. The green landscape continues along the waterfront, further uphill along the re-opened river and the Skudgardur Park until it reaches the border between the reforestation area and the deserted landscape. This way the Gardarsholm Centre becomes the gate to a green routing, inviting visitors to responsible tourism and to be part of the landscape.

Gardarsholm should make Husavik more appealing to locals, visitors and tourists. Culture, reforestation and ecological awareness, whale watching and fishermen activities should all become part of the city branding. The aim is to create a project with a positive impact on Husavik and its larger environment.

In the summer the Gardarsholm Centre opens to the town and allows panoramic views on the sea, the mountains and the sky; in the winter it becomes “the lamp of Husavik” softly glowing under the northern lights. In any season it is a landmark, a node of social interaction and a stronghold of Husavik’s citybranding.