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Norðurmýri, the first residential district to be planned beyond Hringbraut, was developed in 1936-40. Its street and building plan was largely influenced by the direction of the sun. The Norðurmýri buildings are characterised by under­ stated functionalist style, with a strong overall homogeneity, although individ­ ual houses are designed by different people.

Distinctive features of the func­tionalist houses of the Depression years are corner windows, concrete gut­ ters and shallow-pitched mansard roofs, covered in painted corrugated iron siding. The houses were originally coated with dark pebbledash or with mor­tar mixed with pulverised Icelandic rock (obsidian, quartz, Iceland spar). This technique was invented in 1933 in connection with the construction of the National Theatre.