A writer's home in the heart of the old town
Gröndal's House, the former home of writer, translator, illustrator and natural scientist Benedikt Gröndal (1826 - 1907) opens as a literary house on June 17th 2017, Iceland's National Day. This small nineteenth century house in the heart of the old town in Reykjavík has been renovated in an authentic way and will be run as a literary house and residency by the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature.
Admission will be free during the opening weekend and the house open from 1 - 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday.
Events on sunday
On Sunday, June 18th at 3 pm and again at 4 pm, singer Ragnheiður Gröndal will sing a few songs in Gröndal's parlours and writer Guðmundur Andri Thorsson will say a few words about the writer Benedikt Gröndal. All are welcome to these open events.
The house is located on the corner of Fischersund and Mjóstræti in the old village Grjótaþorp in downtown Reykjavík.
The memory of Benedikt Gröndal will be honoured in his house with an exhibition about his life and work. The exhibition also gives an overview of Reykjavík during Gröndal's lifetime in the latter part of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century.
Benedikt Gröndal lived in this house along with his daughter Helga and two housemaids after becoming a widower. He passed away in his home in August 1907. Gröndal wrote some of his best known works while living in the house and many of his beautiful drawings of Icelandic birds and fauna were made there. Gröndal was also enthusiastic about the development of the town that Reykjavík was at the time and wrote a long essay about this home town of his, now an invaluable documentation of the capital's to be history.
literary hub and residency
Albeit a small house, Gröndal's House will become a vibrant hub for cultural activities in Reykjavík. On the top floor there will be work stations for writers, translators and scholars and the basement houses a residency flat for visiting artists. During exhibition off hours, small events, meetings and other gatherings will be hosted in Gröndal's living rooms on the main floor.
As already stated, guests are invited to visit this new writer's home in Reykjavík free of charge during the opening weekend. After that, the house will be open to the public from Thursdays - Sundays with an entrance fee of 1.000 ISK (free for children and teenagers up to 18 and senior citizens).
The arcitect of the renovation is Hjörleifur Stefánsson and the contractor is Minjavernd, which specializes in the renovation of historic buildings.
The house is owned by the City of Reykjavík and run by Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature. Icelandair Group supports the City of Literature in opening the house to the public.
Gröndal's exhibition is designed by Snæfríð Þorsteinsdóttir and Hildigunnur Gunnarsdóttir. Multimedia is designed by Phoebe Jenkins and Ben Moody. Text selection and text work is done by Guðmundur Andri Thorsson and Kristín Viðarsdóttir and Sarah Brownsberger translated texts by Benedikt Gröndal as well as other exhibition texts. Actor Sigurður Skúlason gives voice to Gröndal's texts in the multimedia. Curators are Kristín Viðarsdóttir and Lára Aðalsteinsdóttir.