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Palm trees to Reykjavík

30.01.2019 - 13:30
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Iceland’s first ‘outdoor’ palm trees will be part of a permanent art installation set to decorate a new residential area in Reykjavík. The artist behind the project says the idea arose because of Icelanders’ desire for influences from further south in their daily lives.

There will be two palm trees that will live in heated glass tubes in the so-called Vogabyggð district; a new residential area south of Kleppsmýrarvegur and east of Sæbraut. 

Artist Karin Sander is confident that the palm trees to be imported from southern Europe will grow and thrive in their protective domes. “The idea is that instead of taking trees from Norway, we take trees that invoke summer holidays, beaches, and free time. We will not only import the trees but also the climate to Iceland,” Karin says. 

“It will be an attractor and a landmark for this neighbourhood,” says councillor Hjálmar Sveinsson, who was chair of the judging committee.  

It is the first time that local plans in the city have included art before a neighbourhood is actually built. The work will cost 140 million krónur, which will be included as part of the plot price. Plot-holders will pay 1 percent of their total cost to cover arts in the area. 

But what about people who don’t want palm trees in their back garden? “Then maybe those people should buy homes out of sight of palm trees! It is actually only in one area around the square, where there will be 500 homes, but there are expected to be 1,300 homes overall, so it will be possible to choose from many areas,” Hjálmar assures.