Portus Group was yesterday awarded the contract to build and operate the East Harbour Project, an Icelandic National Concert & Conference Center, in downtown Reykjavík.
The objective of the overall project, according to the East Harbour web site, "is to create a major complex in Reykjavík, Iceland, comprising a concert hall, conference center, and hotel, with a further opportunity to develop office or retail elements." The center will house the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra.
The total floor space of the concert and conference complex will be 23.000 square feet. The concert hall will seat 1800 people. The hotel building will be similar in size to the concert and conference complex .
It is estimated that the construction cost of the concert hall and conference center will be US$116 million. Additionally, Portus will cover the financing of the hotel, construction and operations which is estimated to cost around the same amount.
According to an announcement "the high profile buildings will make a telling contribution to the city's skyline, and will serve as an icon symbolizing both Reykjavík and Iceland."
The project is supported by the Icelandic government and City of Reykjavík. In April 2002, both these parties signed an agreement assuming that the project will be carried out in the form of a private finance initiative.
The center is planned to open in 2009.
The exterior of the complex was designed by Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson. Conductor and pianist, Vladimir Ashkenazy, was an special artistic consultant. Photos of the winning proposal is available here. A video is available here (press the video icon in the middle of the page).
Portus Group is owned by Landsbanki Íslands hf., Nýsis hf. and Íslenskir aðalverktakar hf. The architects are Henning Larsens Tegnestue, and Íslenskir aðalverktakar is the primary contractor.