House of eight friendly nations

In Vatnsmýri stands the Nordic House in Reykjavík, designed by the Finnish genius Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). This Nordic cultural institution was opened in 1968 and is run by the Nordic Council of Ministers, as are the sister houses in Þórshöfn in the Faroe Islands, Nuuk in Greenland and in Mariehamn in Åland. From the beginning, the Nordic House has had a unique position in Icelandic cultural life where various cultural events and exhibitions are organised. The building has a unique library with only books in the Nordic languages. There is also a large exhibition hall, a café, a children’s library and a festivity hall that is widely used. The Nordic Houses are one of the most important tools for ensuring cultural cooperation on a broad basis. Thus promoting understanding and cohesion between Nordic countries, from Greenland in the west to Finland in the east.

The Nordic House in Vatnsmýri is small on the outside large on the inside. The house’s location shows the architect’s acute sense of landscape and light.

Reykjavík 05/02/2022  17:59 – A7R IV : FE 2.8/100mm GM

Photo and text : Páll Stefánsson