Ártún, Malarhöfði

Reykjavík Iceland

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Winning project: LIFANDI LANDSLAG
Team representative: UPPHAF / HEILD / KLASI / ARNARHVOLL

Environmental experts: EFLA ENGINEERING

Living Landscape is a zero-carbon mixed-use building, with a positive impact on the environment and sheltering a local ecosystem. Living Landscape will be the largest wooden building in Iceland.

Programmatic elements are organized around a rich eco-systemic landscape creating an ‘O’ shaped building. The center core is designed as a local ecosystem that will be home to indigenous plants, local rocks and topographic surfaces, contributing to a rich, shared ecosystem for the project, the city and the planet.

The urban context of the Elliðaárvogur-Ártúnshöfði development is displacing a polluted industrial zone creating a new urban hub. The project will create a new ecosystem fabric including a rich environment between urban and natural conditions.

The team of local and international experts designed this project as an eco-systemic typology for growing urban cities to propose a precedent for Iceland’s numerous upcoming developments, and to become a prototype for the global community.

Key Components & Solutions

• Living Landscape is an “O”-shaped zero-carbon building harnessing PassivHouse standards and objectives.

• The reduction of the carbon footprint has been considered at each phase of the project’s life. For example, during the construction phase the team commits to avoid diesel machinery by exploring novel ways of fossil fuel free machinery running on electricity.

• The project will be the largest wooden building in Iceland.

• Re-vegetation is key to this project. Green space will cover 75% of the site, including green roofs and a large central garden.

• An ambitious strategy for low carbon mobility: 50% of parking spaces will be dedicated to electric vehicles. There will be no underground parking prompting the usage of an expanded walking and cycling infrastructure and a good connection to the new mass transit network.

Presentation of the site

This 9,000 sqm plot is the gateway to a large brownfield to be regenerated. It enjoys an ideal location near a green recreational park, a salmon-fishing river and the ocean. It benefits from the future station of the new high quality transportation system of Borgarlína – City line. The development of this site presents a high potential to showcase how a natural area can flow into an urban project.

Ártún, a 9000 sq. m. plot currently unused and unbuilt, is the gateway into the new neighbourhood of Ártúnshöfði, a brownfield ready to be redeveloped. Development of such brownfield sites,for residential and mixed uses, will be top priority in next decades according to the Reykjavík Masterplan 20-30.

The current Redevelopment plan for this site includes a future station of the new high quality transportation system, of Borgarlína – City line.

The site is also already well connected to the biking infrastructure of the city and is easy to access by bus.

The site enjoys an ideal situation near a green recreational park that has a salmon-fishing river running through it, creating a lovely mix of urbanity and nature. It is a perfect location to showcase how a natural area can flow into an urban project taking advantage of the closeness to the green area and the river and ocean.

Bidders are expected to take into account the city’s ambitious requirements regarding green infrastructures and to showcase decarbonized and greener landmark urban development.

Reykjavik Artun Site


Expected program
Residential and mixed uses.  The programme should be addressing Borgarlína – City line stop in some way.

The program should also take into account the current Redevelopment plan of transformation in the area, to create a liveable, friendly and diverse area.

The requirements for the specific site is that the program utilizes and activates the proposed city line stop, makingit a hub of communication and life in the area.

The site is owned by the city of Reykjavík

Plot area
Approximately 9000 sq. m.

Type of transfer intended
Land lease agreements in Reykjavík are for 50 years.

Note that in general, all land lease agreements are renewed after the duration of 50 years. If they are not renewed, there has to be a great need for changes in land use, for example, from industrial to residential. In such cases the owner is reimbursed for the buildings on the land according to a valuation of an independent real estate company.

110 Reykjavík Iceland