Fisherman’s shed transformed into concept store in Reykjavík’s Old Harbour

Fisherman’s shed transformed into concept store in Reykjavík’s Old Harbour

Since its construction in the 1910s, Reykjavík’s Old Harbour has developed into one of the Icelandic city’s most noteworthy tourist destinations and creative business hubs. Compactly knitting together cultural and shopping hotspots, the area’s latest retail outlet by one of Iceland’s booming design groups – HAF Studio – takes inspiration from its eclectic environs.

The local multidisciplinary firm was in need of both a physical retail presence to showcase its lifestyle and interior design pieces, as well as an office to call home. This requirement was met in the form of an old fisherman’s shed located on Geirsgata Street, a stone’s throw from Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík Museum of Photography and artist Olafur Eliasson’s warehouse studio, which housed his popular pop-up restaurant in 2018.

HAF Store, Reykjavík

Photography: Gunnar Sverrisson

HAF’s new home was originally built in 1933, but the building had fallen into disrepair, so required an interior refit to sustain a new lease of multi-purpose life. Over the course of 14 months, the studio almost completely reconstructed the house in a meticulous restoration. The result: a historic space given 21st-century purpose. Now, it’s a cosy 180 sq m blank canvas for the design group’s rotating selection of contemporary collections.

Inside, a subdued material palette of concrete, steel and plywood acts as a pedestal for an array of furniture, interior and office design. Grey-beige surfaces are offset by black fixtures and fittings ranging from steel support girders to wall panelling, window frames and a spiral staircase connecting the retail space with the studio’s mezzanine level office.

Custom-made LED lighting crisply displays pieces by both HAF Studio and a host of international design talent. Featured lighting designs come from Mustache and Petite Friture, accompanied by Objekto’s ‘Paulistino’ chairs, ‘Pallo’ vases by Skrufs Glabruk and HAF Studio’s very own ‘Nero Marquina’ sofa table. It also highlights the store’s sole untouched architectural element: the wall directly behind the counter, which now features a neon sign bridging the building’s past with its newfound role. §

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