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gufunes
Photo: A screenshot from RÚV.

Reykjavík to Develop New Creative Industry District

Creative workers in Reykjavík will soon have 6,000 square metres [64,600 sq ft] of workspaces offered to them in a district the city hopes to develop into a creative hub. RÚV reports that the city will invite artists to pay what they can to rent facilities in Reykjavík’s Gufunes district and develop them into studios and creative workspaces of all sorts.

Gufunes, located in northeast Reykjavík, originally housed a state-owned fertiliser plant but is currently used by waste management company Íslenska gámafélagið. The waste company is now moving its operations elsewhere and the City of Reykjavík has decided to convert the soon-empty buildings into workspaces for creatives of all stripes.

A village of creative industry

“I can’t word it any other way than here an old dream is coming to life,” Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson stated. He pointed out that there is already a creative community in the district. “There is a strong film studio here by international standards, RVK Studios [creator of TV show Trapped], the country’s main filmmaking companies have already settled here. There are also certain artists that have been here for years. Now we’re advertising just over 1,000 square metres [10,800 sq ft] that artists, creative companies, entrepreneurs, and start-ups can apply for because in Gufunes we imagine the development of a whole neighbourhood, a village of creative industries, which we hope will get to be a little raw and different.”

Director Baltasar Kormákur, owner of RVK Studios says he is excited to acquire creative neighbours. “It’s the dream to create facilities for all kinds of arts […] having creative artists around awakens the creativity in filmmaking and vice versa. It also creates employment for artists that often don’t receive a lot of income through their work, so it works very well together.”

Artists pay what they can in rent

The facilities that Íslenska gámafélagið is leaving behind range from deteriorated warehouses to fully-equipped office space. Instead of renting it to the highest bidder, Dagur says applicants will be able to propose what they pay for the spaces. “These are spaces that people take on as they are. They are very raw and a lot needs to be done. We really want to have several-year contracts and that people can do what they need with the rooms.” Dagur explained. “I think we’re just seeing the beginning of something very exciting,” Dagur stated.

An eco-friendly housing development for young people and first-time buyers is also planned for the area.

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