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Reykjavík Of Yore: Sundhöllin

Reykjavík Of Yore: Sundhöllin

Valur Grettisson
Words by
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published April 7, 2017

Although houses don’t change as the years pass by, society does. We at Grapevine found this absolutely amazing photo of Jón Ingi Guðmundsson, swimming teacher at Sundhöllin. With him are swimmers from the Icelandic sports club KR. Only three of the women are named in the museum’s archive: Erla Gísladóttir (1927-1983), Hafdís Jóhannsdóttir (1932-2001), and Kristrún Einarsdóttir Castagna (born 1927). The picture was taken some time between 1948 and 1955.

An historic reeanctment

Because we love to think outside the box, we decided to call the new head coach of the KR swim team—who today isn’t a middle-aged man in a black suit, but a young women, a little younger than the women in the older photograph. Her name is Berglind Ósk Bárðadóttir and she’s eight months pregnant. We asked her if she could help us re-create the photo, and of course she was more than willing. She recruited teenagers from KR to help us re-stage the photo (and we are very thankful for their time).

Sundhöllin, Reykjavík’s oldest swimming pool, was built in the year 1937. The architect, Guðjón Samúelsson, was the most famous in Iceland—he also designed Hallgrímskirkja and the National Theatre, among other iconic Reykjavík structures.

Read more ‘Reykjavík of Yore’ posts here.


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