This is a collaborative, interdisciplinary study for a housing development project called “Hæg breytileg átt” (Slowly Changing Course), the aim of which was to define innovative housing options for future developments of high-density living areas in the far north of Iceland.

Trípólí focused on Skeifan, a formerly industrial area in the centre of Reykjavík, which is today primarily a commercial site. The idea was to utilise the advantages of its central location and to intertwine its diverse existing functions with new residential structures, as well as to promote the benefits of gentrification to this type of area.

Our idea was to utilise the existing structures as much as possible, to build on top of them and in between them in addition to transforming some of the existing offices on upper floors into apartments. In this way, the existing shops and services in the area would not have to give way to new apartment buildings – the new inhabitants would just be added to the existing activities.

However, some of the existing structures, such as large warehouses and industrial buildings, would slowly give way to various cultural activities that are lacking in the area today – such as schools, museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, cafés, and food halls.

The development of the area is envisioned to take place in three phases. First, the infrastructure would be redeveloped from being a collection of large grey parking areas towards a green urban streetscape with special attention paid to pedestrians and cyclists. A considerable portion of the existing upper-floor offices would be transformed into apartments to house the area’s first inhabitants. The second phase would focus on building on top of and in between existing buildings, while the third phase would see the demolition of inefficient building structures as the area becomes more expensive with further gentrification.


Andri Gunnar Lyngberg Andrésson, Guðni Valberg, Jón Davíð Ásgeirsson in collaboration with Rúðuborg


Rúðuborg: Björn Teitsson, Guðjón Kjartansson, Helga J. Bjarnadóttir, Sigrún Hanna Þorgrímsdóttir


Reykjavík, Iceland