THE REYKJAVÍK HARBOR – THE HEART OF THE CITY
In May 2012, Sigmarsson was watching a report on the evening news about the Association of Icelandic Ports and its intention to refurbish the Reykjavík Harbor. Apparently, much of the jetty was to be removed and discarded. It occurred to him then that the wood might be recycled and used to make furniture. And this was the beginning of a brand new idea.
In autumn, a group headed by Sigmarsson obtained permission to take the wood being thrown away by the Reykjavík Harbor. He then began to dry and plane it in preparation for the project. He soon discovered that much of the material was perfect for what he had in mind, i.e. stylish handmade furniture. Aside from being environmentally friendly, this recycling was also a kind of resurrection. Way back in 1903, the very same material was used to construct a dock for the herring fleet, which later became a part of the Reykjavik Harbor that was constructed between 1913 and 1917. Closer examination revealed that the some of the wood originally came from a German schooner that sank off the south coast of Iceland in 1890. The vessel was brought to Reykjavik and disassembled for scrap. Fascinatingly, research indicated that that the trees may have been more than 200 years old when they were first used for shipbuilding.
The wood is pine, which can live anywhere from 100 to 1000 years. The oldest preserved pinewood dates back nearly five thousand years. The Romans commonly used pine and other conifer wood to build many of their houses.
The recycled wood from the harbor gives the furniture a characteristic look and holds part of Reykjavík’s history at the same time.