Turninn

 
 

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Turninn Höfðatorgi - Mixed use retail, commercial and office tower Project: 2007
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Photographs: Rafael Pinho, Helge Garke, Berglind Hlynsdóttir & Heidi Kariouannais
Completion Year: 2010
Floor Area: 23000 m²
Typology: Office building

Pálmar Kristmundsson, Fernando de Mendonça, Erna Dögg Þorvaldsdóttir Vestmann, Dagni Wiest, Helge Garke, István Baranyai, Leonardo Colucci, Þorsteinn Geirharðsson and Zsolt Takács

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Turninn Höfðatorgi - Mixed use retail, commercial and office towerProject: 2007

Pálmar Kristmundsson, Fernando de Mendonça, Erna Dögg Þorvaldsdóttir Vestmann, Dagni Wiest, Helge Garke, István Baranyai, Leonardo Colucci, Þorsteinn Geirharðsson and Zsolt Takács

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Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Photographs: Rafael Pinho, Helge Garke, Berglind Hlynsdóttir & Heidi Kariouannais
Completion Year: 2010
Floor Area: 23000 m²
Typology: Office building

This project is one of the most ambitious and controversial the studio has undertaken to date. Reykjavik's skyline is dominated not so much by the city's relatively low level urban massing and the Hallgrimskirkja, but more by the backdrop of blue, white and grey mountains in the distance. Therefore, any addition to the skyline must take its geographical and topographical context into consideration. Conceived during a time of perceived wealth in Iceland, it was built in the immediate aftermath of the worldwide economic crash.

The building would form the initial step and statement of intent for the realisation of the Höfðatorg masterplan, also designed by PK Arkitektar. From the initial basic design, the building became simplified, the details repeated throughout the building, one element in multiple combinations. This concept minimised the design time, as well as procurement and manufacturing time.

The building's core, lifts and staircases were offset from the buildings centre to help slim down the form of the building, reducing the overall cost, but crucially still maintaining the overall visual effect of the building's massing. Because of its exposed location facing into strong northerly winds, careful consideration was given to the effects this new large mass would have on the surrounding urban context The building's volume was tested in a wind tunnel and analysed to ensure it would have a minimal impact on its surroundings and would ensure pedestrian comfort.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

At 19 stories, including a broad seven-story base, the building offers stunning, unparalleled views of the bay to the north and its islands, and the mountain, Esja, beyond. With buildings of this scale, it is easy to let their size appear out of context with the scale of the city. Here, careful consideration is paid to the detailing of the facade. The building is wrapped in a unique skin of curtain walling which flows across its surface, pockmarked with indentations made by the faceted vertical glazing, appearing as though randomly scattered across the surface of the building.

The use of components of 1.5 x 3.5 metre solid glass and open-able slot glazing panels helps in bedding the building in its geographical context, but also assists in reducing its overall scale. Roller blinds and heating systems concealed within a thin floor slab reduce the horizontal banding to a minimum. in addition to taking advantage of passive ventilation, these unique open-able slot panels, along with the concealed ceiling-mounted roller blinds, help to animate what would otherwise be flat imposing facades.

Roughly hewn tactile concrete on the lower levels contrasts directly with smooth glass, while the interior is kept simple, with wood and brushed concrete floors working alongside the polished concrete of the cores and exposed soffits against which glass partitions and sharp white plasterboard walls are all offset. The overall effect is to create an interior of warmth and security, which permeates through the more angular and rough-cut nature of the exterior.