All posts filed under: Landscape Architecture

Game On

Elements of good play areas

As Reykjavík keeps growing, the designated play areas for its youngest inhabitants need to be developed strategically too, write landscape architects Aðalheiður E. Kristjánsdóttir and Svava Þorleifsdóttir Text by Aðalheiður E. Kristjánsdóttir and Svava Þorleifsdóttir. Cover photo by Eva Lind Children spend up to eight hours every day at school or in kindergarten. It is vital that the surrounding grounds are designed with their needs in mind. The design of play spaces should aim to provide children with an outlet for play and creative energy, fulfill their need for exercise, and encourage outdoor activities and games. It is common rule that all children should engage in moderate or vigorous physical exercise at least 60 minutes a day. Well-designed playgrounds stimulate children’s imaginations and provide a space that encourages movement as well as both structured and spontaneous play. Playgrounds need to be safe, but also well-constructed and durable so that they can withstand punishment from children and weather alike. Research has shown that outdoor activity has a demonstratively positive effect on concentration, learning and social interaction. …

Ljósmynd / Photo - Ólafur Már Sigurðsson

From an Ice Age island to a recreational oasis

Öskjuhlíð, Reykjavík

How does one make a building plans for Reykjavík’s most fragile natural area without destroying heritage dating back to the last ice age? HA interviews landscape architects Yngvi Þór Loftsson and Þráinn Hauksson. Summary by Arnar Fells. Photos by Ólafur Már Sigurðsson. Öskjuhlíð is one of Reykjavík’s biggest recreational areas. It’s a prolific hill standing some 60 meters above the sea level topped by Perlan, a building that looks like half a disco ball resting on top of water tanks serving the capital. Not long ago, the area was largely ignored as an outdoor recreation area. Today, it is one of the biggest outdoor recreation areas in Reykjavik. Travellers flock to Perlan to enjoy the view over the city, students attending Reykjavík University enjoy the proximity of the nature, sun-deprived citizens of Reykjavík rush to the beach at Nautólfsvík every time the temperature goes above 10 degrees, and pagans from all around the world await the pagan temple now rising in the south end of Öskjuhlíð. But how does one make a building plans for Reykjavík’s most fragile …