Staðastaður

Staðastaður, the president's office, in winter.

Staðastaður, the building at Sóleyjargata 1 in Reykjavík, houses the Presidential Office. It was built by Björn Jónsson, an editor and government minister, in 1912.

In addition to being a prominent political figure in his day, Björn Jónsson was the father of Sveinn Björnsson, the first President of the Republic. Björn’s wife, Elísabet Sveinsdóttir, grew up in Staðastaður on Snæfellsnes, and it is after that historic farm site that the building is named. It later passed into the possession of Kristján Eldjárn, Iceland’s third President, and can therefore safely be said to have a history that is intimately associated with the Presidency.

Rögnvaldur Ólafsson, who designed Staðastaður, was a pioneer in Icelandic architecture. The annex to the building on the Fjólugata side was designed by Gunnlaugur Halldórsson. From old photographs it can be seen that the house was on the outskirts of the town when was originally built, and the land to the south (currently partially occupied by the Reykjavík Airport) was still undeveloped.