The Nordic Culture House in Reykjavík was opened in 1968. The house was designed by the world famous Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). He even designed the furniture in the café and the original bookshelves in the library. This Nordic cultural centre was to serve as a link between Iceland and the other Nordic countries and has done so excellently over the years. The Nordic House organizes an extensive program of cultural events and exhibitions and maintains a library, which is an essential part of the Nordic house. There is a gallery in the basement of the house where numerous exhibitions of Nordic art are held. The ground floor houses the library, a small café and a small concert hall.
Websites on Alvar Aalto:
You MUST go to 12 Tonar, located at Skolavoroustigur 15, which runs right into Hillgrimskirkja. They have a wide selection of Icelandic music that literally is only sold at their store. They also have a record label, and I would highly recomend asking the employees what they recomend. You can even have a cup of coffee, sit on a couch, and test drive a stack of CDs before buying.
Located back down near the shoreline is Reykjavik`s best-known building internationally, the Hofdi House (open9 am-9pm). This is the municipal reception hall behind whose clapboard exterior presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in October 1986 to take their first bows before the pas-de-deux towards global disarmament.
The origin of the Hofdi house is traced back to the times, when French fishermen frequented the Icelandic fishing grounds in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The most famous visitor of the Hofdi house is probably Sir. Winston Churchill. He visited Iceland in 1941. Marlene Dietriech also visited the house during the second world war.The most renowned guests of the Hofdi house are without a doubt the presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov, who attended a summit meeting there in October 1986.During this meeting the house became world known and a Japanese millioner had an exact replica of the house built in his country
The Reykjavik City Hall is worth seeing because it is located on the Tjörn and it´s design is quite unique to the majority of Icelandic architecture. It is a very modern building and I read that many residents of Reykjavik were displeased with it´s construction. I think it looks pretty cool to me! I suppose there is always some disagreement with change.
This is great world's first parliment here in the capital of Iceland.
Established in 930, Althingi is the oldest functioning parliament in the world, with 63 members elected for a term of four years by a popular vote.
With the exception of the President and the judges of the Supreme Court, anyone who is eligible to vote can stand for a parliamentary seat.
All Icelandic people are nice and helpful.
Just take a leisurely walk around the city and down the back streets and you'll see some lovely houses. Look out for the parliament building (Alpingi) and the oldest house in Reykjavik
Hofoi House is a cultural center. It became famous in 1986 when there was a summit between Reagan and Gorbaciov. So now the house is call "Reagan-Gorbaciov's house".
Reykjavik has an awesome mixture of old and new architecture. Icelanders are big on design and it shows.