House for Art – the architeture of Kjarvalsstaðir
Kjarvalsstaðir is in the Miklatún park, one of the few recreational areas in Reykjavík to be planned and designed as part of the city’s artistic culture. Kjarvalsstaðir was designed by Hannes Kr. Davíðsson and inaugurated in 1973. Kjarvalsstaðir maintains continuous exhibits from its collection of works by painter Jóhannes Kjarval, who bequeathed a large collection of artwork and personal effects to the city of Reykjavík, and also displays paintings, sculpture, and architectural design by established artists and architects.
The architect of Kjarvalsstaðir, Hannes Kr. Davíðsson (1916-95), became a journeyman mason in 1938 but proceeded to study architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, receiving his architectural degree there in 1945. On returning to Iceland he worked for a while for architect Guðjón Samúelsson, then Master Builder to the central government, and went on to establish his own design studio in 1950. Hannes Kr. Davíðsson moved into the vanguard of new ideas and attitudes in post-War Iceland, notably through experiment with innovative uses of concrete as well as the use of glass for light building facades.