We were gone for 4 days and started the trip off with a day filled with nature experiences in the famous "Golden Circle" area, where we saw both frozen waterfalls, exploding geysers and the gap between two tectonic plates. We also testet the local snow, which turned out to be perfect for snowball fights. We also got the chance to experience a genuine Icelandic snowstorm, but luckily mostly from the comfort of the hot water in one of Reykjavik's outdoor pools.
Technical visits to EFLA and the Icelandic Road Directorate.
The second day, Friday, was spent on professional visits in and around Reykjavik. We started at EFLA, Iceland's largest engineering company, where we were offered breakfast and presentations from several of their engineers. Among other things, we heard about their projects within high voltage overhead lines, which is also one of our own specialties, and how they utilized things like 3D printers to produce prototypes. And then we got the chance to admire the stunning view from their office in the middle of the city.
The next item on the program was a visit to the Icelandic Road Directorate, where we received an impressive presentation of (a small selection of) the Icelandic bridges - for instance the beautiful new bridge, which will cross Ölfusá and replace the old bridge, which is approaching the end of its life. We were also allowed to tell ourselves about our monitoring department, which has solid experience with bridges - including the old Ölfusá bridge, which we provided monitoring for.
The new bridge to be built over Ölfusá.. Photo credit: EFLA
Tour of the Radisson Red construction site
Our partners at KRark architects were kind enough to give us a tour of the snowy construction site of our shared project the Radisson Red hotel, for which we are responsible for the entire construction design. The hotel will be one of Reykjavik's tallest buildings when completed, and will provide a stunning view of the city from its rooftop terrace.
Social visit with NNE
New Nordic Engineering is our Icelandic sister company, and to celebrate our visit to Iceland, they offered Friday beer and a tour of their office. We are currently cooperating on the Radisson Red project, where NNE is responsible for designing installations such as plumbing, sewerage, HVAC and sprinkling as well as reviewing and submitting engineering drawings for government approval.
We ended Friday with Icelandic tapas and got to try whales, puffin and Icelandic brennivín...
Hiking and ice caves
Saturday we split up into smaller groups. Some chose to hike up mountains while others went to a museum and learned about the Icelandic nature indoors.
Tour and teachings at Harpa
We were lucky enough to get a tour of the Icelandic concert hall Harpa by one of the people who knows the building best. Ríkharður Kristjánsson was design manager on the projects and could give us some interesting insights on both challenges and innovative solutions on this unique design. Especially the facade, which must be said to be one of the most remarkable traits of the building, had made the engineers think outside the traditional box.
We were allowed into Harpa's largest concert hall, where the acoustics obviously had to be testet - and of course turned out to be fantastic. We ended the visit by learning what it means to be an Icelandic with the show "How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes" - so now we know how to pronounce the very important phrase "Þetta reddast", which means something like "it will all work out somehow".
The last day there was just time for some bathing and some shopping, and then we were on our way back to warm Copenhagen. Everyone agreed that Iceland had been a fantastic experience and hopefully our future holds more exciting projects in this small, but impressive country.