Comfort Zone

1-Halgrims Church Ice1-Hallgrim inside

I am in Iceland when I see this place. Iceland. Norsemen, volcanoes, Vikings, edge of the earth, moonscaped, treeless Iceland. Actually there were a few trees there in Reykjavik but some blew down in the hurricane winds we had when I visited. As someone there put it to me, We’re not here for the weather.

And yet, look at this place. Hallgrimskirkja. A cathedral whose design started in the 1930’s. It was finished in the mid-80’s. Record time for a cathedral I would think.

Look at what came up out of the earth. A place so right for its location on earth: rock and ice floes and basalt columns rising up to the sky, yet with Art Deco repetition and rhythm. Inside it’s a clear rise up into the arches. Stunning.

Design like this does not come from being safe. It comes from trying something a bit new, a bit different. Oh there are designs like this elsewhere and churches that look a bit like it too. But the idea to take this up into the sky like this required some Iceland nuts. Someone stepping out of their comfort zone.

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