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Thúfa approaches completion

Work on the Thúfa artwork by the south-east gable of Ísbjörninn, HB Grandi’s cold store, have continued this summer and according to artist Ólöf Nordal, who won the company’s design competition last May, work is expected to be complete this autumn.

Thúfa is a grassy mound built with stone steps leading to the top where there is a small fish drying rack. Ólöf Nordal hopes that this will be used to dry sharkmeat and fish. The mound has a diameter of 26 metres and is eight metres high, containing 2,400 cubic metres of earth weighing around 4,500 tonnes.

‘Building a mound like this turned out to be a bigger project that we had expected to begin with. It took some time to design the mound and calculate its weight and potential effects on the environment around it,’ Ólöf Nordal said, adding that the work of constructing the mound could not start until July.

‘That was when the machinery arrived and the core of Thúfa was built using coarse material and rock. Then we waited for a few weeks for the mound to settle. After that the rough shape of the mound was formed and we started work on the surrounding area. Thúfa itself is planned to be grassed over, as will the area around it. Because of the steep sides at the lower part of the mound, turf and rock will be laid in layers, which is an ancient method of building a turf wall. The layers of turn and stone are placed one on top of the other, which is then earthed over for the grass to grow,’ Ólöf Nordal explained.

All of the groundwork was handled by ÍAV staff. VSÓ completed the calculations and work schedules, while the landscape design was by Emil Gunnar Gudmundsson.

According to Ólöf Nordal, they are now waiting for the next contractor to start work. Gudjón Örn Stefánsson has been contracted to lay the turf and stone, and this work starts at the beginning of this month. The aim is to complete the entire work this autumn so that the formal opening ceremony of the artwork can be held before the end of the year.