Perlan (The Pearl)

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  • Kategoria: museums-history
  • Sekcja: Dining Museums - History

Ideas for a grand structure at Oskjuhlid date from 1930 when master artist Johannes Kjarval had dreams for the site: The sides of the temple should be covered with mirrors, So the northern lights can approach the feet of men - the roof should be decorated with crystal of every color and floodlights should be in the eaves to illuminate the whole area. It should answer to the light of day and the symbols of the night. It would be difficult to find a better description for The Pearl, brought to fruition some 60 years later.

The Pearl is a magnificent structure. Formally opened to the public on 21 June 1991, it combines utility and vision. Hollow steel framing supports the glass dome and walls that link six aluminum-sided tanks, each of which can contain 4 million liters of water averaging 85°C (185°F). As part of The Pearl's heating system, hot water is pumped through the metal framework in winter, while cold water flows during summer, thereby producing a comfortable year-round environment. The Viewing Deck on Level 4 takes full advantage of the panorama enjoyed from Oskjuhlid; telescopes mounted at each of the six corners of the deck with recorded descriptions in Icelandic, English, Norwegian, German and French.

Geothermal heat is the most significant resources available to Icelanders, providing inexpensive, reliable, and environmentally safe energy. Although the first attempt to tap this raw power of Mother Nature was made in 1755 by naturalists Eggert Qlafsson and Bjarni Palsson, it has only been technologically practical for the past 60 years. Drilling in Reykjavik first began in 1928, when the deepest hole reached 246 meters. Today about 70 holes provide the capital area with hot water, varying in depth from 500 to 2,000 meters-with one reaching the astonishing depth of 3 kilometers. At 61 meters above sea level, it has long been given that Qskjuhlid would be the site of water storage for greater Reykjavik. This elevation provides adequate pressure to force water up a lO-story high-rise built at 38 meters above sea level-the same elevation as Sklavorourholt, site of Hallgrimskirkja, visible throughout the city.

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12,9 ° C
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3,3 m/s
1003 hPa
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