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Four artists compete over old harbour site

A shortlist of four artists who have presented ideas for the proposed Nordurgardur site adjacent to the new HB Grandi building has been drawn up by the committee. The competition was announced last autumn and there were 39 entries, after which the shortlist committee decided unanimously to invite artists Olga Bergmann, Ólöf Nordal, Rósa Gísladóttir and Thór Vigfússon to prepare their entries.

HB Grandi CEO Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson took the first spadeful of earth at the construction site on reclaimed ground on the eastern side of the company’s headquarters last November. The new building will be 3800 square metres and will consist mainly of cold storage space to be commissioned by May this year.

The eastern gable measures 412 square metres and the competition guidelines state that the chosen artist of co-operating artists produce an artwork on the gable or a freestanding artwork in front of it, or an artwork that connects the wall space with the open space on the eastern side of the building. The resulting artwork is expected to become a landmark at the entrance to the old port of Reykjavík and the colourful adjacent business district, opposite the Harpa building on the harbour’s western side. It is expected to be visible over a large distance.

The competition is held according to the competition rules laid down by the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (Samband íslenskra Myndlistarmanna – SÍM) and the committee in this case was made up of two representatives of HB Grandi and one put forward by SÍM. According to the competition rules, each artist will be paid ISK250,000 for each fully developed proposal. Proposals must be handed over before 10th April, and the expectation is that the final decision will be announced before 5th May. These will be judged by a panel made up of three representatives of HB Grandi, two proposed by SÍM as well as one representative of  Associated Icelandic Ports who will reach the final decision.