New lighting for Reykjavík’s Ódinstorg square

The Municipality of Reykjavík recently inaugurated a new look for the Ódinstorg square in the city centre.

Formerly a parking lot, Ódinstorg, which connects a residential neighbourhood and a busy commercial area, is now a welcoming public space and living area.

This renewal was conducted within the framework of an urban design competition initiated by the City of Reykjavík.

We wanted to transform the square into a versatile public space for locals. Creating a liveable space at night was very important as we have long periods of darkness being so far north,” says Gunnar Hersveinn, Project Manager at the City of Reykjavík.

Creating a liveable space at night was very important.

Gunnar Hersveinn, Project Manager, City of Reykjavík

The square’s lighting design, by Verkis, is based on a holistic vision for the area at night. The designers integrated lighting into the landscape design: area lighting is provided by discrete poles that blend with the other urban elements.

The lighting installation also includes different lighting scenes depending on the seasons and times of the day. The objective is to create an inviting atmosphere even in challenging weather conditions.

Reykjavík has gained a new gravity point that attracts, and cares for, both the needs of citizens and the many visitors of the city centre,” says G. Hersveinn.

At a glance

  • Commissioning authority: City of Reykjavík
  • Lighting design: Verkis
  • Urban design: Basalt Architects
  • Completed in: October 2020

An edited version of this interview originally appeared in Cities & Lighting magazine (Issue #9, 2021).

Images © Darío Nunez Salazar;

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