In 2013, five years after the financial crisis, one of Iceland’s major banks, Landsbankinn, redesigned its headquarters. Currently Landsbankinn holds all of its operations under one roof at Austurhöfn, which is the original Landsbankinn building and one of the city’s most important landmarks. It’s one of those buildings downtown that you stare at in awe, wondering what purpose it holds.
Well, it’s a bank. The redesign project was entrusted to the Icelandic Architectural Association, which held a competition for the most cost-effective and ecological design. In the end the project was estimated to have cost around 700 million ISK. Today, the upper floors of the four-story building are rented out, which makes its maintenance more cost effective. The idea behind centralizing the bank’s operations under one roof was that it made fiscal sense to do business in one convenient spot, instead of having different sectors all over the capital area.
The story behind the new Landsbankinn headquarters is rather interesting; when you go in for a quick currency exchange, make sure you take advantage of the free coffee too.