Akureyri is located on Iceland’s northern coast and is the largest town outside of the Reykjavik urban area. Over time the connections between the town, its people and its setting have been eroded; the economic importance of the fishing trade is diminishing and the town centre no longer has a direct relationship to the sea. Furthermore, out of town shopping malls have contributed to a decline in the town centre’s prosperity.
Following our success in an international design competition in 2005, Graeme Massie Architects were appointed by the municipality of Akureyri to develop their master plan and public realm proposals for the town centre.

Our proposals aim to create a unique identity for Akureyri; to capitalise on the town’s natural setting and provide high-quality urban spaces attractive to prospective residents, businesses and tourists. The ultimate aims of the urban plan are to reverse recent decline and reinstate the centre as a vibrant, mixed-use area.

In order to achieve this we have proposed a series of landscape and infrastructural initiatives including: formation of a new inlet, cutting through previously reclaimed (but unused) land, to re-establish the connection between town centre and fjord while revealing the line of the town’s original waterfront; selective demolition and reconfiguration of the existing urban structure to allow for significant commercial expansion.









Municipality of Akureyri


Winner, International Competition

2005 - 2010

Alta ehf, Alan Baxter Associates,
Efla, Kanon Arkitektar ehf

Masterplan completed

Detailed master plan completed and integrated into Municipal Plan