Skip to content

The Building History

The history of The Hof Cultural Center goes back over a decade. The original idea of its construction goes back to 1999, as the need for a good facility for concerts and other artistic events was undisputed.

Aiming to reinforce facilities for cultural and artistic operations, the government of Iceland, in 1999, allocated funds toward the development of cultural houses outside of the Reykjavík area, strengthening the overall success and operations of that sector. In a government meeting on February 11, 2003, 1 Billion IKR was allocated to construct cultural houses in Akureyri and the town of Vestmannaeyjar. On April 7 of that same year Tómas Ingi Olrich, then Minister of Culture and Education, and Kristján Þór Júlíusson, then Mayor of Akureyri, signed an agreement for the construction of The Hof Cultural Center in Akureyri. Management for the project was established, to oversee operations of the planned center. The center was supposed to be about 3500 square meters and the overall cost not to exceed 1,2 billion IKR as of April 2003.

The project management reported to the Ministry of Culture and Education and the Municipality of Akureyri in the beginning of November 2003. The report stated the cultural center in Akureyri would be situated on the landfill south of Strandgata and east of Glerárgata. An official competition for the design of the cultural center was planned according to the rules of competition of the Icelandic Architect Society (Arkitektafélag Íslands) involving a panel of five judges to oversee the competition and deliver their conclusion to the Ministry of Culture and Education and the Municipality of Akureyri. The panel of judges was appointed.

The opening ceremonies for Hof and the launch of its facilities were held at Akureyrarvaka (Akureyri Town Festival) between August 27th - 29th , 2010.

The Building

The groundbreaking for Hof was held on Saturday July 15, 2006, but constructions began in August 2006. When the construction of the building´s foundation began, a signifiant subsidence emerged causing a lack of uniformity across the soil so the decision was made to build a basement under the building.

Due to the addition of this 2300 square meter basement and various changes in the designing phase, the center was 537 square meters larger than originally planned. This led to a larger restaurant area, shopping space, music school, and space in front of the primary music hall and other various reforms. Ultimately, with all of these significant changes considered, the project ended up looking much different in comparison to the data which sparked the original design competition-the gross size of the building more than doubled, going from 3500 sqaure meters to 7413 square meters.

The columnar basalt on the outside boarding of the building was sourced from a mine in Hreppshólar in Hrunamannahreppur.  The total weight of the basalt is 300 tons and the surface area is 1600 square meters.

The main designer of the cultural centre is Arkþing. The company´s main associate partners were:

  • Arkitema, Fredriksgade 32, DK-8000 Århus
  • TÓV ehf., Óðinstorgi 7, 101 Reykjavík (load bearing capacity)
  • VST ehf., Glerárgötu 30, 600 Akureyri (earth work – steel panel)
  • VN ehf., Hofsbót 4, 600 Akureyri (installation and air conditioning)
  • Raftákn ehf., Glerárgata 34, 600 Akureyri (electrical installation and control system)
  • Akustikon AB, Baldursgatan 4, 411 02 Göteborg (technical design)
  • VSI ehf., Hamraborg 11, 200 Kópavogur (fire prevention design)

The main contractors were:

  • Árni Helgason (soil exchange and foundation design service)
  • Ístak hf (concrete work)
  • Rafmenn ehf. (electrical system)
  • Útrás ehf (steel construction)
  • Klemenz Jónsson ehf, (linoleum work)
  • Völvusteinn ehf (plaster walls e.t.c.)
  • Blikkrás ehf (air conditioning)
  • KONE ehf (elevators)
  • Málningarmiðstöðin (painting)
  • Magnús Gíslason ehf (plastering)
  • Haraldur Helgason (plumbing)