Skólavörðustígur 36 Demolition an Accident, Says Owner Skip to content
Skólavörðustígur 36 before the demolition
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Skólavörðustígur 36 Demolition an Accident, Says Owner

The building at Skólavörðustígur 36’s demolition was an accident, owner says. According to him, when construction had begun on adding one story to the building, as sanctioned by the city’s building inspector, the building’s weak structural frame collapsed. Built in 1922, the house hasn’t hit the 100-year mark that grants automatic protection but construction on all buildings approaching that age (built before 1925) is subject to approval by the Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland.

Read more on the protected building’s demolition.

The building’s owner, Birgir Örn Arnarson, had permission to add a story to the building and to expand the ground floor into the back lot. According to Birgir, construction started by raising the roof and removing a timber floor between the first and second floor due to moisture damage and mildew. When the large storefront windows were installed in 1968, no additional load-bearing frame was added so the whole wall’s load-bearing qualities were weakened. In addition, the building is made of hollow blocks which don’t support as much load as other building materials. When the roof was raised yesterday, Birgir Örn told Rúv that the front wall of the building simply collapsed. The south and west wall of the first floor remained standing. He calls the event a mishap and that demolition wasn’t planned. Now the accident has been reported and he had met with the city’s building inspector and an architect this morning. He will have to apply for a new construction permit.

Sigurborg Ósk Haraldsdóttir, Chair of the Committee of Planning and Transport told RÚV that the demolition is a great loss and that it’s clear no demolition permit had been granted. Asked if the city intended to report the demolition to the police, she stated that is was the city’s stance that illegal demolitions are reported. “Just like with the Exeter building, this is something we will not tolerate,” she continued.

City council member Pawel Bartoszek confirmed to Vísir that the city will report the demolition to the police. “The city has decided, after going over the case with lawyers, that the building inspector and the municipality will report the matter to the police, and an investigation on whether or not laws were broken will follow,” said Pawel.

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