A new image every month celebrating architecture, chosen from RIBApix, where you will discover nearly 70,000 images on architecture, landscape and the decorative arts.
Growing upwards from a hilltop site in the centre of Reykjavik is the jagged outline of the Hallgrímskirkja Church, the largest church in Iceland. Despite its appearance this is no natural geological feature, but a concrete structure inspired by the local basalt formations left behind as lava cooled into thick upright columns. Commissioned in 1937, it is a perfect expression of the yearning of Icelandic architects in this period to find a new architecture with “a native character and in harmony with the landscape” (1).
State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson designed the building, but did not live to see its completion. Work only commenced in 1945 and continued after the architect’s death in 1950 by succeeding state architects Hörður Bjarnason and Garðar Halldórsson. The church was finally consecrated in 1986 (2).
Whilst consisting of many images of original material from the RIBA’s historic collections of books, drawings, archives and photographs, RIBApix also shows architecture as it exists now. The church’s 73 metre high tower is October’s RIBApix image of the month and was taken only this year.
- Schmal, P. C., 2011. Iceland and architecture? Island und Architektur? Frankfurt am Main: Deutsches Architekturmuseum. p. 23
- Abrecht, B., 2000. Architekturfuhrer Island (Architectural guide to Iceland). Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. p.105