Swedish architects, Kjellgren Kaminsky, together with Landscape architects Mareld, have won the international competition for the redevelopment of Hafnarfjörður’s harbour in Iceland. The jury praised the design for its strong connection between the coast and the town of Höfnum, creating a promising future for the living structure. The first prize in the competition was shared with the Dutch architect Jvantspijker.
The proposal is based upon a strategy where the future development strengthens the human scale and creates places where industry, business and visitors can co-exist. The proposed structure links scales together, supports microclimate and provides spaces for co-creation. Hafnarfjörður will be redeveloped as a mixed-use extension of the historic fishing port. The design reimagines the harbour as a leisure landscape, while maintaining its fishing industry which provides a cultural and commercial lifeline.
The natural topography and formation of the coastline created a sheltered harbor, situated on the outskirts of the capital, Reykjavik. Over time, the area has been landfilled to re-create these natural connections and so there is great opportunity for development. The design identifies three key aspects; fisheries, various corporate groups and the community itself. All currently disconnected, the plan envisions a series of new urban interventions that intertwine with the existing urban fabric on different scales, to form more unified interrelationships.
The area is uniquely populated around large lava formations and so the new structure consists of volumes and spaces that directly relate to the environment with direction, scale and expression. The different scales are woven together and the smallest scale supports important stretches where people move and want to stay. In this architectural fabric, a number of profile buildings stand out and become visual nodes and landmarks. The locations of buildings relate to adjacent structures and support important routes and places.
At the far end of the port a new canopy cantilevers over the harbor, creating a notable entry point for Iceland and for the cruise ships that bring many tourists to the country. Beneath the roof, a large open space can be activated with markets, exhibitions and small restaurants, all showcasing the fishing industry to both the commercial and public realm. The roof, providing shelter from wind and rain, defines a place where the individual, tourists and the fishing industry can coexist.
At the crux of the development is the slipway, which will be renewed with cultural injections such as new museums, juxtaposed with the existing buildings. Thus, becoming a place where history, tradition and culture combine. A new lighthouse bookends the development, offering views across the coastline and forming a strong dialogue between land and sea. Acting as a beacon of light for boats at sea, the tower, wrapped in copper to adhere to the shipwrecks, will become a new landmark for the area. Source by Kjellgren Kaminsky + Mareld Landskapsarkitekter.
- Location: Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
- Architect: Kjellgren Kaminsky + Mareld Landskapsarkitekter
- Project Team: Kjellgren Kaminsky: Joakim Kaminsky, Francesca Suaria
- Project Team: Mareld Landskapsarkitekter: Oskar Ivarsson, Svante Soldemo
- Visualization: Karol Borkowski
- Status: 2018, First prize in an international competition
- Images: Courtesy of Kjellgren Kaminsky
Article by Marco Rinaldi