Design Destination: Iceland

Springtime in Reykjavík showcases a host of shops, restaurants, museums and more that prove the capital city’s appeal.

Courtesy of Harpa
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The Performance Space: Harpa

Opened in May 2011, Harpa, Reykjavík’s major performance space, is the country’s boldest architectural innovation in recent years. It has allowed a tiny country with a population comparable to St. Louis, Missouri, to house a symphony and an opera in one world-class venue. Each year in November, international acts perform at Harpa at Airwaves, Iceland’s annual five-day music festival. (The Flaming Lips headline the lineup this year.) But whether or not you’ve booked tickets to an event, the concert hall is worth a visit. Designed by the international firm Henning Larsen Architects, with a façade by Danish Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson, the massive building offers pretty views of the waterfront and harbors an outpost of Epal (epal.is), a Nordic-focused home-design shop that showcases many Icelandic designers. Austurbakki 2; 354/528-5000; harpa.is.