Hljóðhimnar is a place for children and their families to discover the magical world of sound and tones.

In Hljóðhimnar you can sit in the positions of the conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, snuggle up to the lullabies and songs of the Icelandic Opera, look into Maximús Músíkús mouseholes, sail around the oceans of music with the Reyk­javik Big Band and so much more.

Hljóðhimnar is a place for children and their families to discover the magical world of sound and tones. Hljóðhimnar is the heart of children's culture in Harpa.

Admission to Hljóðhimnar is free.

Please note that during peak times it may be necessary to implement access control in Hljódhimnar. Children are not allowed in the space unless accompanied by an adult. The maximum number at a time is 30.

The idea and design process behind Hljóðhimna

One of the birthday presents on Harpa's 10th anniversary in 2021 was the design of a new space specially designed for children and families. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic Opera and Reykjavík Big Band, which are based in Harpa, are among those who contributed to creating a unique experiential journey through the magical world of sound and tones. The space got the beautiful name Hljóðhimnar and is located on the ground floor in Harpa. Hljóðhimnar is a play on the Icelandic word for Eardrum - Hljóðhimna - which then translates directly as Sound Worlds. The installation is an invitation to experience the vast world of music and sound, without any previous knowledge or education needed.

The design team ÞYKJÓ led the design process in collaboration with Harpa, Gagarín, Vísindasmiðjan, Reykjavík Audio, IRMA, the aforementioned residents of the building and last but not least the ÞYKJÓ´s Kids Council.

ÞYKJÓ´S Kids Council

With the ÞYKJÓ´s Kids Council it was ensured that children participated in the project and had an influence on the design process. Last July, 100 children aged 5-7 came to workshops with ÞYKJÓ´s designers and scientists from Vísindasmiðjan in Harpa. The workshops looked for ways to communicate sound physics, how sound waves move the air and how music moves us. Designers started the brainstorming process with the kids and together we dreamed about what this space should be like. The collaboration and conversation with the children is the foundation on which ÞYKJÓ's design work for Hljóðhimna was based, and during the work process, children are regularly brought to the table to give their expert opinion.

A magical year for children's culture in Harpa

Here you can see all children's and family events in Harpa


ÞYKJÓ (pronounced thickyo) is the Icelandic noun for make-believe. ÞYKJÓ's design projects aim to stimulate the imagination and creativity of children during free play.

Hljóðhimnar design, construction and recordings