Buyers of Perlan to Construct Hotel and Pool Skip to content

Buyers of Perlan to Construct Hotel and Pool

The acquisition offer made to the Reykjavík landmark building Perlan (The Pearl), a glass dome on top of six water tanks, assumes the construction of up to 15,000 additional square meters on the lot to facilitate a hotel and a bathing location.


Perlan. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Perlan is owned by Reykjavík Energy (OR), which is in the ownership of the City of Reykjavík.

Some members of the City Council along with the city’s director of urban planning, Ólöf Örvarsdóttir, have expressed opposition to these construction plans and criticized the sales process of Perlan.

According to, Ólöf said on Tuesday that she doubted permission would be granted for such a project.

OR has made a declaration of intent with lawyer Garðar K. Vilhjálmsson, who represents the investors, on the sale of Perlan and a three-hectare lot.

The others include construction contractor Þorvaldur Gissurarson, along with Guðmundur Ingi and Þorvaldur Traustason.

The offer is worth almost ISK 1.7 billion (USD 14 million, EUR 11 million) and includes the construction of a hotel and bathing facilities.

“The basic idea, as it stands today, is that the buildings would be constructed towards the base of Fossvogur and down the currently grassy slope,” Garðar explained. “The bathing facilities would be further to the west, in shelter from the northern wind, sheltered by Perlan and the new building that would be constructed.”

Garðar said the plan is for the buildings to be 12,000-15,000 square meters in size. Garðar and his partners are also interested in having the priority right to adjacent lots.

He pointed out the policy for Reykjavík submitted at the City Council in April. “One of the city’s goals in tourism is to become the capital of bathing culture.”

Garðar stated the urban planning director shouldn’t be the one to decide whether these ideas will be realized.

“I just don’t think it’s hers to decide. I think it is the decision of those who control the city and form its policy,” Garðar said. “The urban planning director is the official responsible for executing the policy that they make.”

Dagur B. Eggertsson, who presides over the City Council, told Fréttablaðið there was no promise on the construction of a hotel or a pool in the acquisition offer.

“One can of course ponder whether a new sales process would be needed if the Perlan were to be sold along with a hotel lot, which is a completely different issue OR’s advertisement concerned the sale of Perlan,” he iterated.

Click here to read more about the Reykjavík landmark building being up for sale.


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