Skálinn, annex to the Icelandic Parliament house


Owner:   Alþingi – The Icelandic Parliament
Address:   Kirkjustræti 12, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Purpose:   A service centre for the members and staff of the Parliament of Iceland. The service centre also contains the security offices, the canteen and various conference rooms. A car park is in the basement.
Year of construction:   2002
Size:   2400 m2
Architects:   Batteriid Architects
Construction engineers:   Almenna verkfræðistofan
El engineers:   Rafhönnun
VVS engineers:   VGK

Outer walls of concrete, clad with basalt bricks, and glass. The roof is clad with stainless steel thus minimizing the need for maintenance




 A building of 2 storeys, connected directly to the 19th century Icelandic Parliament building in the city center of Reykjavik.



 Architecturally the main challenge was to design an extension wing to an old and listed building in a respectful way – but at the same time in a modern way – and connect it to the surroundings in order to add quality to them and the house itself.



 To respect the old parliament building and the old timber houses in the street, the new building was recessed from the street line, its height and scale adapted to the old one and the connection between them made as neutral as possible. For further adaption the outer concrete walls were clad with the same material as the old one is built of.


In order to and open the building towards the garden behind the old parliament building the east façade of the service building was made entirely in glass. Of security reasons with security glass and no operable windows - together with heavy solar load on the facade in the morning hours the solution was to design a ventilated double façade. Between the glasses, movable vertical solar panels were placed and the idea was to program them as to turn automatically according to the solar direction for shading. In sunny days cold air is blown into the space between the glasses in order to cool the glass wall and in cold days hot air is blown in the same way for heating.



 As the task was to build a modern building in the heart of Reykjavik as an extension to one of the most important buildings of the town, facing the main square, the building had to be modern and appealing but at the same time very functional due to its limited size. The task was also to connect it with its surroundings, bring the garden into the building - and at the same time create shelter from the cold see breeze. The main principle of the building would therefore be principle number 5 of the Charter.


Contact information

Batteriid Architects.