A Walk through Reykjavik (part 3)

Mirrors and reflections abound in Harpa

In this conclusion of this 3-part post (cf. part 1 and part 2), we visit one of the most interesting architectural constructs in Vesturbær: Harpa.

Harpa is a concert hall and conference center. Its construction started in 2007 as part of the redevelopment of the Austurhöfn area; due to the financial crisis work was put on hold until the Icelandic government decided to fund the rest of the costs to finish the half-built concert hall in 2008.

Harpa reflects the Harbor

Positioned on the harbor and facing the Atlantic Ocean, Harpa is built as a steel frame that is clad with glass of various colors to give a sense of the basalt landscape of Iceland.

Harpa Facade

The facade is intriguing, as it allows one to look through parts of the hall, and invites the viewer to look for reflections and color patterns; there’s even a particular pane that is appreciated by selfie takers for its reflection of the views!

The facade and overall structure are very appealing, but there’s one feature that really caught my attention: the ceiling!

Harpa Ceiling View

The ceiling had a wonderful pattern of mirrors, lights and angles that are just wondrous to behold. Every turn of the head gives the eyes another set of inputs that intrigue and amazement to entertain the brain!

One literally could spend hours exploring the reflections in the ceiling and the patterns that appear; while not spending that much time, I did take a good number of photographs. Here’s another view:

Q*bert in Harpa

If you are familiar with the Q*bert game of the 1980s, you may also see the geometry that was the hallmark of that game’s 3-dimensional look and feel. The ceiling provides countless views like these, as we keep our eyes open and minds receptive to the varied views.

I look forward to the possibility of one day experiencing a concert in this wonderful space and having more time to explore all its views and angles.

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

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