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Eldborg has been designed as a world-class concert hall, with state-of-the-art acoustic technology that can be adjusted to performances, conferences and lectures of all kinds. The hall’s design features make Eldborg a truly adaptable modern venue that can accommodate up to 1,600 guests at one time.
Eldborg, meaning „fire-castle „or „fire-city “. It is the name of a crater in Snæfellsnes, West-Iceland. Eldborg is like a piece of hot lava, red and glowing on the inside and black and cold on the outside. The goal was to build a modern, unique and festive concert hall that could be adjust to different performances. Careful attention was given to the acoustics, line of sight, seats and ventilation.
Eldborg is the home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. They play once a week throughout the winter, but the hall also hosts all other types of music. The Icelandic Opera is among those who regularly have their performances here.
Above the stage is the sound shield or the canopy, which is important for the acoustics of the hall and it is carries many of the electronic devices, lights, the amplifying system, etc. The canopy is divided into 2 parts. The smaller one weighs 23 tons and the bigger one 45 tons. They can be lowered in different parts depending on how the hall is to be used.
The walls are covered with red birch plywood to support the warmth of the room, so guests can feel the warmth and charm as they walk into the hall. The stage is made of smoked oak.
Large red felt banners are rolled down along the walls for amplified concerts. Then, when acoustic music is being played, the felt banners are removed and sometimes large panels in the walls are opened up, opening the way into reverberation chambers on each side of the hall. When they are opened up to the maximum, we get a sound not unlike that of a church.
Alongside Eldborg there are reverberation rooms that were one of the first things to be designed in Harpa. From the beginning the focus of design was set on perfect sound quality. The sound designers got to finish their work first before other designers took over.
The result is truly fantastic. World famous bands, dance groups and artists have performed at
Eldborg, for example Berliner Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, The San Francisco Ballet, St. Petersburg Ballet, Shakespeare Globe Theatre. Concerts have been given by Kraftwerk, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Patti Smith, Cyndi Lauper, Jamie Cullum, Katie Melua, Bryan Ferry, Tony Bennett and Björk of course. Even Joshua Bell, a famous violinist, was here last year and he is quite demanding on the acoustics. He said this was one of the best halls he had ever played in AND the magazine Deutche Gramaphone gives us the vote of being one of the 10 best halls in Europe.