Reykjavik redesigned

Scottish architectural firm Graeme Massie was recently announced the winner of a competition to redesign 150 hectares in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, reports Building Design online.

The competition asked firms to redesign the area of Vatnsmyri, a large area next to the city centre which is currently occupied by the domestic airport. As winner of the competition, it is anticipated that Graeme Massie will become the lead consultant on the actual redevelopment of the area.

“It’s an important competition, and we’re very pleased to have won,” Massie said. “Iceland is a relatively sustainable country with geothermal power, so the plan was to make it as sustainable an urban plan as possible and actually build on what it already has.

“We wanted to build on some of the positive aspects of the city in terms of its scale and at the same time try to increase the density, because it’s a city that sprawls.”

The winning proposal would make Vatnsmyri one of the most densely populated areas of the city but would also include public buildings, retail and office space and landscaped outdoor areas. The focus of the proposal is on environmental issues and as a result, parklands will be extended and areas around lakes and wetlands preserved as wildlife sanctuaries.

Graeme Massie was awarded a grand prize of €60,000. Four firms were given prizes of €15,000 as runners up. Jean Pierre Pranlas-Descours, a well-known French firm of architects, and the Dutch group, Studio Irander, submitted the runner-up designs.