Since the introduction of Reykjavík’s public transportation system in 1931, Hlemmur Square has served as a bus terminal in the east end of the old city centre. However, the first terminal building for waiting passengers was not built until 1978, when a 530-square-metre, steel-frame building was built to function as an indoor plaza with a ticket office, lavatories, and several shops. The building soon became a hangout for punk rockers and the homeless and gradually the number of shops decreased to only two by 2015, when the City of Reykjavík approached Trípólí to give the building and its surroundings a make-over and suggest a new programme for the site.

The building itself is a unique structure designed by architect Gunnar Hansson and it received a cultural prize in 1979 as the most significant work of architecture of the previous year. However, the interior layout of the building has changed a lot during the years, with large sheets of adhesive film added to most of the glass façade, making the building rather unpleasant to look at.

Our proposal reimagines the building as a food hall, building on one of the ideas the City of Reykjavík had previously considered. The proposal entails dividing the building between several different vendors, with the potential for a central space for events. Construction on the site started in 2016, with design supervision by Helga Gunnarsdóttir – Gunnar Hansson’s daughter – and with several architects designing the stalls, including Trípólí. The site was opened in 2017 to much fanfare by visitors and locals alike.


Andri Gunnar Lyngberg Andrésson, Guðni Valberg, Jón Davíð Ásgeirsson


Sigrún Hanna Þorgrímsdóttir


Reykjavík, Iceland


City of Reykjavík


Food Hall


530 m2