Winner of international open competition: FOJAB to design neighborhood in Iceland

The City of Reykjavik wants to set a new standard in urban development with the Keldur district. FOJAB and Ramböll won the open international competition with their proposal. Crafting Keldur - Where Art, Science & Recreation Unite.

The competition brief was to produce a development strategy for the Keldur district in eastern Reykjavik. Within a few years, Keldur will be served by a high-quality bus transport system connecting the district with Reykjavik city centre and other important locations in the capital area. According to the city, the new district will be characterized by sustainable mobility, circularity, energy transition and climate-neutral construction.

Five teams were selected from around forty proposals received in stage 1 to develop their ideas further in stage 2. FOJAB and Ramböll won with a proposal based on a social mix in a dense and flexible urban structure close to nature, the university and the city.

- Starting with climate neutrality and climate considerations places special demands on urban planning, and the kind of dense mixed-use city we ended up with is unusual in Iceland. The buildings in our proposal stick to a human scale - three to five floors - but are sufficiently dense and cohesive to create a vibrant and dynamic city," says Magdalena Hedman, commissioned architect at FOJAB.

The jury is particularly attracted by the fact that FOJAB's proposal is clearly anchored in the site and that the landscape's conditions with greenery and water have been taken advantage of, that the land is used efficiently, by good ideas about mobility and a flexible block structure. The strategies for achieving a social mix are also considered convincing.

- The winning proposal responds very well to our needs and requirements for the new urban neighborhood in Reykjavik. An urban district close to nature, where the three stops of the Borgarlína express bus will be the backbone of sustainable urban transportation. We look forward to the further development and deeper shaping of an excellent proposal in the upcoming planning process," says Thorsteinn R. Hermannsson, Development Manager at TfCA, Transport for the Capital Region.

The next step is to further develop the winning proposal into a development plan and physical plans.