The Nordic House
Knowledge and design
The Nordic House in Reykjavík is a cultural institution opened in 1968 and operated by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Its goal is to foster and support cultural connections between Iceland and the other Nordic countries. To this end the Nordic House organizes a diverse program of cultural events and exhibitions.
The house is the venue for front row activities in the Icelandic cultural calendar: Reykjavík International Film and Literary Festivals, Iceland Airwaves and The Nordic Fashion Biennale—launched by the Nordic House, now on its way to the runways of Copenhagen and New York.
The house maintains a library and the Nordic Region in Focus information service.
In addition, there is a shop for Nordic design and food products, exhibition space and auditoriums. The house also features an acclaimed restaurant serving New Nordic food. Restaurant Dill is run by chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason, captain of the Icelandic culinary team, and Ólafur Örn Olafsson, president of the Icelandic sommelier association.
The Nordic House is designed by acclaimed Finnish modernist architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). The house is one of his later works, a hidden gem among the better known masterpieces, and features most of Aalto's signature traits. These are evident in the ultramarine blue ceramic rooftop that takes its organic shape from the mountain row in the background, the central well in the library and the extensive use of white, tile and wood throughout the building.
Alvar Aalto also designed the furnishings in most of his buildings. In the Nordic house, all installed furnishings, lamps and almost all of the furniture are by Aalto.
The Nordic House is the only building in Iceland designed by an internationally acclaimed architect.