TEAM & PARTNERS
Michiel van Driessche
Willemijn van Manen
Municipality of Reykjavik
World Landscape Architecture Magazine WLA22
SLEIPNIRS SECOND LANDING ON EARTH
Sleipnir sits in the middle of this new made square. Not only as the revived version of himself, but also as the materialisation of the neighbourhoods pride. Óðinstorg hosts the biggest sculpture of Reykjavik, narrating the legend of Icelands’ formation!
During the last years, Iceland has become a master in knocking out its extraordinary landscapes as a main tourist attraction. Using them as a nationwide billboard, they attract more and more people to visit the island, year after year. Many new initiatives arise in the wide surroundings of Reykjavik, to celebrate the natural qualities and facilitate the growing interest of people in the country.
Besides celebrating the landscape, Reykjavik could capitalize this interest to put a spotlight on the Icelandic culture. Creating cultural hotspots within the city adds to the overall representation of Iceland to its visitors, and enables the society to turn touristic interest into improved living conditions for the Icelandic’s.
Óðinstorg square might be this next cultural hotspot. Having served as a platform for temporary use during the past years, it was a laboratory for contemporary culture. At the same time, the place refers to the ancient mythology of Odin, and through this to the very beginning of the Icelandic culture. No better platform can be found to create a stage to celebrate Iceland’s culture, and link history to every day’s reality.
Since 300.000 Icelandic’s are hosting 1.000.000 tourists every year, our new cultural stage has a funny ratio of spectators and actors. We need a performing stage, offering an attractive presentation to the audience at any time.
Sleipnir is the horse who carried Odin in the long gone past to Iceland and beyond. Today Sleipnir might become the carrier of Óðinstorg as a cultural place. We enlarge the statue of the past into an inescapable and multifunctional object. As a living statue, he triggers for activity on the square at any moment, becoming part of everybody’s daily reality. Sleipnir is always there, delighting the citizens and tourists, and leaving the Icelandic’s a lasting trigger to join their show.