Olafur Eliasson is born on February 5th, 1967 and is an Icelandic–Danish artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from 1989 to 1995. In 1990, when he was awarded a travel budget by the Royal Danish Academy, Olafur went to New York where he started working as a studio assistant for artist Christian Eckart in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and reading texts on phenomenology and Gestalt psychology. Olafur designed the glass façade which envelopes Harpa in collaboration with Henning Larsen. One of the main characteristics of the façade is its reference to various natural phenomena and the unique light conditions of Iceland. Eliasson’s approach was to fashion a structural overlay of “quasi-bricks” stacked geometric constructions of steel and glass designed to mirror the city, the light, and the changing weather in kaleidoscopic reflections inside the building. From the exterior, the geometric forms are reminiscent of the crystallized basalt columns commonly found in Iceland.
The principal designers of the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre are the Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects and the Icelandic architectural firm Batteríið Architects. Henning Larsen is one of the most progressive and professional architecture practices worldwide. Drawing on Scandinavian design tradition they are know to develop vibrant, sustainable architecture that extends beyond itself and provides lasting value to the users and local context. In 1959, Henning Larsen founded his own architectural practice, where he was active for more than 50 years. Henning Larsen designed a vast array of important works of architecture in Denmark and abroad and he was often described as the “Master of Light”. henninglarsen.com
The principal designers of the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre are the Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects and the Icelandic architectural firm Batteríið Architects. Batteríið Architects expertise is a comprehensive knowledge of adjusting buildings to local environment and climate, Universal Design as well Occupational Safety & Health. The goal is that every completed project demonstrates this aspect as well as the company´s policy. arkitekt.is
The New York-based firm Artec Consultants Inc. is responsible for the acoustics design of Harpa. The firm, which is now called Arup Inc., has contributed to the design of many buildings, which are are now considered among the most magnificent landmarks in the world. These include the Lucerne Culture and Convention Centre in Switzerland, the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest, Hungary, the Lahti Concert Hall in Finland, the Sala São Paulo concert hall in Brazil, and the Lincoln Center’s Jazz Concert Hall in New York.