Kringlan Car Park, Garden & Public Space

A project for a car park, garden and a public square undertaken with Kristinn E. Hrafnsson, artist. Cooperation between architect and artist was at every level from inception to construction and the project in totality is a result of that collaboration.

The new car park is on two levels on the site of a surface car park at the south east corner of the mall. In order to mediate between the scale of the mall and the surrounding housing the car park was considered more as landscape than building. The decks are pushed into the ground at an angle against the natural fall of the site enabling the realigned eastern service road to be used both for access and movement from lower to higher levels. A ramp at the south end allows cars to move from the upper to lower level.

The east side of the car park follows the new curve of the road to creating a gash in the upper deck filled with the crowns of trees planted below. Irrigation is by surface water poured from gargoyles; an often frozen torrent.

Sheet metal piling traces the periphery of the carpark and is its vertical structure. Precast hollow-core concrete planks span 16m to steel beams on concrete filled steel columns at 7,5m centres. The columns are reincarnated on the upper deck as light columns. Lighting on the lower level is recessed into the concrete planks allowing a clean, uninterrupted soffit.

A promenade extends the length of the west side on both levels, open to a new garden between the car park and the Kringlan Mall. North of the car park is a new public space paved in thick slabs cut from hexagonal basalt pillars. The sheet metal piling of the car park is revealed on the south edge of the space, a rusty, man-made vertically-faceted plane resonating with the natural basalt clad stair tower and service rooms.

Kringlan is a temple of consumption for our time and on the day of opening gifts of goods from the shops in the mall were sealed in lead caskets and locked in the stair tower for the generation of the centre's destruction.

Client : Eignarhaldsfélag Kringlunnar / City of Reykjavík
Architects : Studio Granda
Artist : Kristinn E. Hrafnsson
Landscape architects : Landslag
Structure : Verfrædistofa Sigurdur Thoroddsen
Services : Verfrædistofa Sigurdur Thoroddsen / Rafteikning

Further reading...

Nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award 2001