In Reykjavik, Iceland capital they wanted to build a big new hotel in Ingolfstorg, a public existing plaza in Kvosin, the city historical center, very close to the Iceland Parliament. The program was asking for a way too big building that couldn´t work well with the existing city pattern. There are no big buildings on this area. OOIIO Architecture team decided to break the big hotel into 2 hotels. This decision make all the program to work much better, not only because the size of the buildings is more suitable with the historical center, also because the client could build now the buildings in different phases, and if he wants, use building A as a 5 stars hotel and building B as a 4 stars hotel, so the scheme is more flexible for its economical benefits. Ingolfstorg, is an existing public plaza in Reykjavik, which needs to be recycled. There are several bars, restaurants and shops, but it is looking a bit neglected. The area, with a great location, definitely needs a clean-up. Building a new interesting hotel over there could help on that. Unfortunately, the brief was asking to occupy most of Ingolfstorg open public space, and the city was going to lose this open area forever. OOIIO Architecture decided to combine the client requirements of building enough hotel space and facilities to get good economical benefits from it, and to provide new and interesting public areas to not loose public square meters for the city. The proposal is a combination of a good and functional hotels, restaurants and shops, mixed with very contemporary public areas, opened to the city of Reykjavik, looking forward to become a new city attraction. This combination public + hotel and commercial will definitely become a great profit for both, city and the hotel developer client.
All the 130 hotel rooms have natural light and ventilation, and public areas, street level and roof are well combined with commercial spaces.
To attract even more public to this new building-open space, OOIIO Architecture decided to design a light-patio installation on the center of the main building, that combined with the ground excavation, generates a great contemporary space able to be used as a cultural platform for the local or international artist, where they can project any kind of light performance. It will become a space similar to what it is now Times Square for New York or Piccadilly Circus to London, but in a new format and on a adequate scale to Reykjavyk.
The lower level on this public space can be used as a open theater, with restaurants, shops and the hotel lobby facing it, and from it the people can take panoramic escalators that take them all the way up to the public sculptural hotel roof, where they can get a new panoramic view from all Kvosin central Reykjavyk area. All the intervention will became very quick as a new touristic attraction, transforming the neglected existing plaza, into the best possible location for the new hotels and the existing commercial surroundings.
The hotel façade wants to indicate the singularity of the buildings and is inspired in traditional Icelandic bread. It creates a double skin for the buildings that unify all the intervention, providing movement and texture at the same time that it protects from direct sun radiation inside.
Design: OOIIO Architecture Project Team: Joaquín Millán Villamuelas, Belén Gómez Mendiguchía, Javier Urrutia Sanchez, Kristinn R. Ólafsson, Gema López March, Marta Cacho Guinea. Images: Entrecotas Area: 4700 m2 above ground. Location: Reykjavyk, Iceland.