This second part of Reykjavik’s impressive architecture is about Hallgrimskirkja – one of the most interesting churches I’ve seen so far. Its expressionistic appearance was designed following forms of Icelands nature: The thin concrete piles symbolise vulcanic columnar basalt and its white colour reminds of glacier ice.
After finishing the last posts about Reykjavik I want to use the silent winter time to take you on a journey through my hometown Cologne as well as through other parts of Germany that play an important role in my life. “Heimat” is German and means home(land). It’s pronounced “high-mat”. 😉 I will show you my favourite street art works in Cologne and other German cities as well as introduce you to the most lovely, exciting and unique neighbourhoods, museums, cafés and other places. Since my family lives on the countryside I will probably also take you on a tour into the nature. So let’s embrace winter!
WALL POETRY Urban Art Festival | Collaboration of Iceland Airwaves and Urban Nation Berlin | Every year in november Reykjavik is the stage for a huge music festival called “Iceland Airwaves” showing Icelandic bands as well as international newcomers and famous bands. This year Iceland Airwaves initiated a very special artistic collaboration together with Urban Nation Berlin. They invited 10 street artists to paint the music from bands performing at the festival. Under the theme “We paint the music, you love to hear” the artists created ten extraordinary murals that now enhance Reykjavik’s surface.
There are two buildings in Reykjavik that deeply impressed me. Both with a unique character. In this first part of impressive Icelandic architecture I will show you the wonderful HARPA – a futuristic concert and conference hall at the old harbour of Reykjavik right beside the sea. HARPA concert hall Inspired by Iceland’s exceptional landscape and its diverse lightning atmosphere HARPA was designed by Henning Larsen Architects (Denmark) and Batteríið Architects (Iceland) in cooperation with the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The two building blocks with angular edges are revetted with a filigree honeycombed steel framework. The space in between is filled with reflecting glass elements that change their colour according to the light of the day and the weather. The name “HARPA” is the result of a competition organized in the year 2009 to find an Icelandic name that is easy to pronounce in every language. The word has different meanings.
By closing the door behind me I’m entering another world. A world wrapped in Warpaint music. I’ve never heard a Warpaint song in a café before. The slightly melancholic tones suit my inner conception of Iceland, correspond to its winter-melancholy, to the Northern Lights and to the vast of its ice landscape. But right now it’s summer and the street in front of the Coocoo’s Nest is full of people eating ice cream. There is an ice cream shop next doors where you have to draw a number to get your desired scoops of ice cream. Icelanders are addicted to ice cream! Even in cold winter days. At least this is what Ragi, a 59-years old Icelander told me.
This month it’s all about REYKJAVIK! I visited the northernmost capital this summer on a long weekend trip. I think I’ve never been to such a small city with so much art. 🙂 Partly it felt like being in a small version of London. But Reykjavik has its own character. It’s relaxed and open-minded. Let me take you on a tour through a city that never sleeps at night (because there is almost no darkness in summer), show you some stunning architecture, introduce you to some amazing people who I met and give you some insider tips by locals. Of course I will also pick out the most beautiful street artworks for you! And let me tell you, Reykjavik has a lot street art to offer! 🙂 The trip was part of “Helden en voyage” – a design study trip sponsored by Philipp Seine Helden (the agency I work for).
What to do, when your boyfriend suddenly breaks up with you? Well, for a travel soul like me the answer was clear: Jump into the next plane and go somewhere you’ve never been before. ICELAND seemed to be the perfect destination for this plan – a lonely island far away from the European mainland, far away from home and from my everyday life. So I packed my bags and jumped into the next plane to Reykjavik in Juli this year. By approaching Iceland I became aware of one thing immediately: I’m entering a world where natures rules. As far as the eye could see the ground was covered with black lava rocks.
Did you know that the word “Ghetto” arise from Venice? It comes from the old Venetian dialect word “geto” which means “foundry”. In the 16th century Jewish people were forced to live in an isolated area within the Venetian district Cannaregio – an abandoned site of a former foundry that produced canons. The Jewish life was full of restrictions at that time: They were not allowed to leave their area at night-time and all access points were controlled by guards. When they wanted to leave the Ghetto at daytime they had to wear distinguishing clothes. Moreover they were only allowed to work in certain fields such as bankers, money-lender, tailor or tinker and had to pay extraordinary high taxes.
As a Graphic Designer I’m always looking for interesting exhibitions on my travels. In Venice I found a very special one: PROPORTIO. The exhibition was located in an old impressive Palazzo close to the Canal Grande in Campo San Beneto – The Palazzo Fortuny. The special thing about the Palazzo as a stage of art is that the rooms and structures of and within the building are still as they were created by Mariano Fortuny, the former owner of the Palazzo. Mister Fortuny was an extraordinary man himself,
(Deutscher Text unten) In these days I keep asking myself, what relevance does my blog have at all? What relevance does my very personal (and maybe unilateral) view have considering what else is happening in this world. The terrorist attacks in Paris and also in Beirut (to be mentioned here equally) gave me a lot food for thought. Left me shocked, angry and sad at the same time. The attacks made me feel powerless – because I can’t stop the IS on my own, can’t stop the murdering. And I ask myself what can I do to give the world that we live in another hue. Another colouration than the hateful-power-hungry-mindless-egocentric deep black of the IS that threatens to devour the Middle East like a tar slick.