Nursing Home Instead of Hotel?

Vala Hafstað

Hótel Saga, Reykjavík, closed its doors November 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, various ideas have come up regarding a potential new use for the building.

At a meeting with the Reykjavík City planning officer, an inquiry from Jón Hrafn Hlöðversson, construction engineer at Mansard design studio, was submitted, Morgunblaðið reports. In his letter, he asks whether part of the building or all of it could be converted into apartments, and whether city planning could be changed accordingly. Secondly, he asks whether current planning rules would allow healthcare service, such as service for the elderly, to be housed in the building.

The inquiry was referred to a project manager for review.

Jón is not the first to suggest new ways of using the building. In an interview with Morgunblaðið, Helgi Vilhjálmsson, owner of Góa chocolate factory, brought up the idea of converting the building into a nursing home. “A restaurant is ready downstairs, and we could offer a dance twice a week in the Súlnasalur hall to cheer up the senior citizens,” he stated.

The building that has housed Hótel Saga was first taken into use in 1962. It has always been the property of Icelandic farmers. Its name, Bændahöllin, written in large letters on one of its walls, means ‘the farmers’ palace.’ In addition to a hotel, it has housed the offices of the Farmers’ Association. The building has 209 rooms, in addition to banquet- and conference halls.




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