The Nordic Council of Ministers has launched a co-Nordic design competition for ecological improvements of buildings across the region. One of these buildings is located on Iceland, on Höfðabakki 9 in Reykjavík, which is often called Watergate due to its resemblance to the infamous office complex in Washington D.C.
Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“It is an open, cross-disciplinary contest, in which not just architects but everyone can participate. A handsome sum provided by the Nordic Council of Ministers is being offered and an international jury will choose the winner,” Guðmundur Tryggvi Sigurðsson, director of the property administration of real estate company Reitir, the building’s owner, told Fréttablaðið [13.11.12].
The first prize is NOK 1 million (ISK 22.4 million, USD 174,000, EUR 137,000).
The seven-story office complex on Höfðabakki 9 was built in 1980 and requires restoration. Reitir would like to have “ecological office parks” for IT companies and related operations created there. “Our ideas suited the competition nicely,” Guðmundur stated.
He explained that the Nordic Council of Ministers has encouraged the development of ecological buildings in the Nordic countries in the past year.
“As part of a plan to that regard, the Council has established a strategy in a few stages, one of which is this competition,” he went on, adding that one of the competition’s aims is to highlight features characteristic of Nordic architecture.
In addition to the ‘Icelandic Watergate,’ buildings in Stockholm, Oslo, Ballerup, Denmark, and Tampere, Finland, have been enlisted to the competition. The deadline for submitting proposals is February 8, 2013.