Exhibition and guided tours dedicated to the life work of Sigvaldi Thordarson the architect.
I have been documenting pieces by the architect Sigvaldi Thordarsson since 2015 and now it is time to release the main findings in a form of a book. The designers Bobby Breiðholt and Helga Dögg Ólafsdóttir will edit the book and Kjartan Hreinsson, photographer, will select the photographs.
Sigvaldi’s career spans 23 but over this short period he left buildings and houses all over Iceland. Some of them are more known than the others. Some of them were designed for influential figures in the society whereas others were not. The book will cover the whole range of buildings, his style, as well as an overview of Sigvaldi Thordarson’s whole career. It’s incredible how futuristic and approved by the public. He was born in 1911 in Ljósaland in Vopnafjörður. Later he moved to Denmark to study architecture but had to flee back home because of WWII. After the war, Sigvaldi moved back to Denmark to finish what he had started and moved then back home in the middle of the Cold War. There are few official projects by Sigvaldi in Iceland despite being very opinionated politically, his leftist views didn’t make things easy for him. Despite this hardship he gained respect and recognition among his colleagues and the public, it was considered admirable to live in a building which he had designed. He was the advocate of modernism in Icelandic architecture and made huge impacts on his contemporaries, and one cannot deny his influences on buildings still today.
Many books have been made on Icelandic architecture, but none on Sigvaldi Thordarson specifically. Information on him is hard to come by, mostly praises and words of respect, but no concrete resource on his life work, but this book is supposed to be exactly that. I have travelled all over Iceland to document and photograph Sigvaldi’s buildings as well as gathering information on each building. All of the information will be neatly organized in the book so anyone interested can easily look it up. This book will be an important link in the collection of Icelandic architecture.
I realized through my instagram account that people are interested in Sigvaldi’s work. Strangers come talk to me and tell me they live in a house designed by Sigvaldi, or their grandparents built a house using Sigvaldi’s drawings and still live in it today. Late at night the other day two men asked me whether I wasn’t the Sigvaldi-guy, which I said yes to. They talked to me about the buildings and houses they had lived in, who designed them, when they were built and so on and so forth. After a short chat one of them told me that his father-in-law owned Sturlu-Reykir which is a farm designed by Sigvaldi in Reykholtsdalur and I was welcome to visit anytime I wanted because the whole family followed my instagram account. At this moment i realized that a house by Sigvaldi is not just a property that one lives in but also a piece of art that one has.