Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NYLO by Pála Minny

My concept was to fill in the gaps, use existing buildings and increase the connectivity between Hverfisgata and Laugavegur. I decided to fill in the gaps between Hverfisgata 42 and Klapparstígur 25-27, and Hverfisgata 42-46. Because I was working with Hverfisgata 42, that is now an art gallery, I wanted to fill in the gaps with something related, so I decided to make a new headquarter for NYLO.
I did not change the look of Hverfisgata 42, but I changed it a little bit inside and did connect it to Hverfisgata 44 and to the new building I designed. The main entrance is now through Hverfisgata 44, and that will be a bookshop called Úturdúr, owned by NYLO. The 2nd and 3rd floor will be open workshops, and the 4th and 5th floor will be residential.
The 1st floor in the new building will be a sandwich bar, the purpose of that is to get more people to visit NYLO and make it more open for public. The 2nd floor will be an art gallery, 3rd floor will have an open office space, and on the 4th floor there will be a conference room, two big offices and a terrace.
The houses in the backyard will be residential but owned by NYLO, and the courtyard can be used as an outdoor exhibition space. From the 2nd floor you can go out to a terrace. There you can eat your sandwich, drink coffee, read a book or just relax.
I wanted to use a semi see-through wire net, to fill in the gaps, so you can see that there is something going on in the back. The space between Hverfisgata 44 and the wire net will be used as an exhibition space. I also put the wire net on the new building so you get the feeling that this is the same building surrounding the existing one.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


My project is on the building site Hverfisgata 33. The existing house on the site is a three storey post-modern building. The area from Klapparstígur down to Ingólfsstræti is my favorite part of the street. All the buildings are very old, beautiful and are a part of Icelandic history except for Framsóknarhúsið at Hverfisgata 33. I think the style, location on the site and the form do not connect with the houses around, especially the Danish embassy, which is a classical white concrete building. The house appears like a big mass or a wall beside the embassy. The activity in the house is very sealed off and the location needs more life and people. I want to bring young people to the street so I decided to do a hostel and a coffee laundromat.
In the project I keep the main structure of the existing house. I cut into the form on the west side of the building, beside the Danish embassy because there it is often sunny. Therefore it is ideal to have an outside sitting area. On that side I have large glass window to bring the light into the house. On the east side I also cut the form to bring light into the darker part of the building were the laundromat and hostel rooms are located.

On ground floor there is a café and laundromat and the hostel lobby. The lobby can be opened up towards the café.

On the secound floor there are five rooms for the hostel guests, bathrooms, a linen room and a small balcony.
On the third floor there is one guest room, a kitchen, sitting room, bathroom and a small balcony on the back of the house which has a beautiful view over Esjan. On the third floor there is also a large balcony facing Hverfisgata that has a jacuzzi, outdoor shower and a sitting area for the hostel guests.

Magnús Friðriksson

Sometimes Hverfisgata looks like there is a curfew. There is nobody in the street. How to change that? My contribution is to choose an empty space between two houses, then to create a structure for a farmers´ market. A dead zone will become a commercial centre where people look for fresh products. The structure will connect the two houses, Hverfisgata 78 and Hverfisgata 82.
The market will be covered. An adjacent wall of house number 82 will seem to be falling down. Corresponding adjacent wall of house number 78 will seem to be starting to fall, the lowest part will seem like torn out to the middle of the ground.The market is in two parts. One is in the new building, the other is part of house number 78. The market is on one floor with a high ceiling. Behind the market is a little square.

facade view from Hverfisgata floor plansection
3d view


Sentou; A japanese style bathhouse.

My initial idea was to create a new activity on H
verfisgata, something to attract traffic to the street. I also wanted an activity that's new and would add something interesting to the flora of activities available in Reykjavík, which aren't all that diverse or many in downtown Reykjavík compared to foreign cities. The idea of a Japanese style bathhouse came from my own experiences living in Japan, where the bathhouses quickly became one of my favorite activity there. Iceland already has a rich bath culture, but nothing as diverse, eye pleasing and physically moving as the Japanese baths. By mixing the Japanese customs associated with bathing to Icelandic bath culture I wanted to present a familiar and popular past time in Iceland with a unique twist.


I chose the corner of Snorrabraut and Hverfisgata, half the property of the police station at Hlemmur, as my site. The location is unique in the way that it is the only place where the view to Esja is completely unobstructed, allowing a shakkei style view (Japanese term for framed or "borrowed" view) of the mountains while bathing. I also wanted to make the Hlemmur area a more interesting place to visit.


As there are no showers in the building people use the washing stations that consist of a low stool and a bucket in front of a mirror with a basin and shower head to wash with. Guests are required to wash thoroughly before entering the baths.
The bathhouse has many different kinds of baths, for example hot and cold tubs, green tea baths, mineral baths, jacuzzi baths and slightly electrified baths.

As with regular Japanese bathhouses all guests are required to bathe naked, and so it is segregated between men and women. The two sections are different and alternate between men and women every week, providing more variety in surroundings and layout.
The left section is a slope shaped hall, with washing downstairs and most of the baths spread between several levels, all with a view of the Esja mountain through a large window.
The right section is more complex and revolves around a circular flow through its two floors. It is windowless and only provides a view of Esja through a small outdoor area, the only one of it's kind in the building.





The slope was meant to create a grassy area for people to walk up and sit down and enjoy the view of the sea and Esja whenever they want without being guests of the bathhouse. It also has a view over Hverfisgata and the Hlemmur area. This presents a variety of possibilities of outdoor activities around Hlemmur, both in front and back of the building. One example would be concerts on the building rooftop or on the lot in front of or behind the building.
The big window inside the bathhouse and the outdoor area are shielded with walls covered with vegetation so people outdoor can't go peeping on the nude people indoors.




Saturday, April 25, 2009



My project is about improving the area of Hlemmur and Hverfisgata.
I wanted to use this area to create pedestrian spaces, lower the high bus traffic. I also wanted to change the current social problems at the bus station Hlemmur by demolishing and moving it behind the police station.

My concept

A place for young and old,to meet,to eat or drink,to chat, to walk the dog(to pick up the poop),to see or get seen. I want you to experience my architecture in a special way, which for me means to see the area as a whole or as a part, to touch it (to go and be able to touch each and very part of the composition: the wood, the glass, the water, the rubber, the concrete, the timber, the colored bicicle lanes, and to hear the trees(its birds) the differant surfuces under your feet, and to smell it too.

So basicly I created a playground for my design starting from Baronstigur down to Rauðarastigur and the Hlemmur area.


The main building of the new area is a multimedia center which you exes throu a void that pirces the old timber house, which I use as a restarant and leads you under ground to the gallery tunel, where you can see the latest digital art and pass to the first floor of the center, where you can sit down in a media capsul, where you can watch your favoured movie or listen to your favoured song. Vending mashines give you the oppurtunity to grab something to eat or to drink without leaving the building.



On the second floor you can enjoy a drink with a friend and see the current video instalation or just watch peopel skateboarding behind the window.

Stairs lead you out of the center and you find your self back on the square, where you can rent a bike, skate on the ramps, which are part of the landscape or simple injoy some icecream by the pond or sitting on the roof of the multimedia center, which is covered with special rubber material. Pick any spot and watch the peopel crossing the square.









Auður / Gunnhildur

The initial goal for this project was to increase the flow of pedestrians from Laugavegur to Hverfisgata and thereby strengthen that part of the city centre. Laugavegur crosses many residential and non-commercial streets but does not have another street or area backing it up as a main shopping and nightlife street of a capital city. By strengthening Hverfisgata and connecting it better with Laugavegur, the two streets could work together as a whole and support each other with their different emphases.

The plot connects Laugavegur, Hverfisgata and Klapparstigur. To begin with it was decided to work with three existing houses, Hverfisgata 30 and 32 and Klapparstigur 30. The two houses on Hverfisgata are residential but have been vacant for a time. The house on Klapparstigur is vacant as well and used to house a nightclub.

The first step in the design process was to create a way through the plot. The objective was for it to be a smooth connection between Hverfisgata and Laugavegur while being somewhat hidden and an exciting journey, rather than a clear path like a street. While working with a complex path the buildings started to rise as rest stops in the journey rather than obstacles or destinations. Most buildings were meant to be small, housing specialty shops and restaurants. The larger ones are office spaces and studios. As the project developed the buildings started to form by the path and the final outcome was several irregular shapes mixed with rectangles.
The project consists, as priorly noted, of several buildings, connecting the old with the new. To increase the connection between the buildings, more than one door is placed on some of the buildings, creating interesting shortcuts. On the upper floors the buildings are connected with bridges and balconies. To strengthen the connection windows are used as a transparency factor, making it easy to look outside a window into the next building. An axis can be cut through the plot, from the Hverfisgata opening to the Laugavegur opening. Where the axis cuts through the buildings there is either a door or a window, strengthening the connection between the two streets even more. The experience of walking through the project is meant to be lively and exciting. The various paths and the shift between outside and inside make it possible to experience the project in different ways, depending on which way is chosen each time.

The outdoor "Sirkus-market" should be revived in its original location by Klapparstigur and Laugavegur. By the existing houses in Hverfisgata there is a small square leading out from the restaurants. A small concert space on the second floor can be opened up towards the square. The market, the square and the concert space along with the outdoor pathways bring outdoor life to the project. The bridges can also serve as shelters from the rain. The square and the market offer the possibility of having outdoor events which could possibly be connected with the stores and businesses in the project. The activities and businesses suggested for the project are not meant to be significantly innovative, although the goal is to have small businesses and specialty shops. The reason for choosing such activities is that they function well in a downtown environment and are not focused on a specific group of people. Therefore the flow of people increases, strengthening Laugavegur and Hverfisgata as a whole.