As it was the case with the public domain buildings, residential architecture in Iceland quickly absorbed functionalist principles, and the roughcast finish of local ground stone and render became distinctive feature of newly erected buildings. First certified Icelandic architect Sigurður Guðmundsson (set up his practice in 1925) and those who closely followed him embraced the new architectural language, however in many cases this was only superficial, and the internal layouts remained traditional.
Couple of estates were built as residents’ co-operative, but there was, like in Ireland, no exhibition experimental model estates like Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart, or WuWa in Breslau (now Wrocław).
What’s interesting – apartment blocks did not appear in Iceland until 1944.
Suðurgata 37 . Part of the late 1930s development of Melur district. Planning application approved in March 1939.
Tjarnargata 42. Semi-detached villa. Part of the late 1930s development of Melur district. Planning application approved in June 1938.
Hringbraut 37-47. First apartment blocks in Reykjavik. 1942-44 Architect: Einar Svensson, Ágúst Pálsson.
Fjólugata 15 – House of Lúðvík Lárusson, 1934. Detached villa – currently residence of Ambassador of Norway.
Sóleyjargata 11 – Functionalist villa. 1932, refurbished and extended in 2014.
Flókagata 8-10 Semi-detached villa built in 1937 as part of the larger residential estate developed in east Reykjavik in 1930s. Whole estate in the Norðurmýri area was influenced by the direction of sun. Buildings vary in style, but maintain understated functionalist style.
Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum. Designed and built by the sculptor himself in 1942 as a house and studio. Subsequently extended in 3 phases between 1946 and 1987. Originally built in style derived from Mediterranean architecture, resulted in an eclectic sculptural form.
Freyjugata 46 – House for Gerog Ólafsson, 1932. Architect: Sigurður Guðmundsson. One of many houses designed by the same architect in the area for wealthy clients. Reinforced concrete structure with roughcast finish. Refurbished in 1939 and recently in 1999.
ASÍ Art Museum. Freyjugata 41. 1933-35. Architect: Sigurður Guðmundsson. House and studio for sculptors Ásmundur Sveinsson and Gunnfríður Jónsdóttir. Currently Icelandic Confederation of Labour art gallery.
Félagsgarður building cooperative Hávallagata 31-36 21-53. 1935-36. Architect: Hunnlaugur Halldórsson. First Icelandic competition for housing estate.
Reykjavik cooperative housing 1934-35. Hringbraut 92-104,
52-64, 67-81, Sólvallgata 51-63. Architect: Þórir Baldvinsson, Axel Sveinsson. Housing estate consisting of two types of buildings: Detached villa and duplex apartment. Built im timber frame with external render. Most houses were re-clad and rebuilt over the years.
Workers’ housing, Hringbraut. Phase 1. 1931-32. Architect: Guðjón Samúelsson. First of its kind state-subsidized housing development. Contiguous terraces of 4-apartment houses create internal common courtyard with park and playground.
Workers’ housing, Hringbraut. Phase 2. 1936-37. Architect: Gunnalur Halldórsson. 70 houses of 2nd phase of Hringbraut development. Innstead of perimeter layout build as 4 block of terraced houses. While the houses feel like there’s more individual space designated for each apartment, the common social space consist of narrow and slum-like area.
Map with locations of buildings presented above. Icon: slides out the menu with building numbers.
Abrecht, B. (2000) Architectural Guide to Iceland. Reykjavik: Mál og Menning
Gunnarson, G., Braggadóttir, H., Másson, N., Ármansson, P., Rasmussen, K. (1996) Architecture in Reykjavik. Reykjavik: Association of Icelandic Architects, Reykjavik Museum, City Planning Office, Nordic House.
Reykjavik City Planning Office online archives. Available at: http://reykjavik.is/thjonusta/teikningar [Accessed 14.10.2017]