Torshavn, Faroe Islands
After thorough research of the ancient methods of adapting buildings to the weather conditions of the North Atlantic islands, European Prize for Architecture laureates Henning Larsen Architects has revealed the design for a new university building in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, set to be built as a new community campus, at the University of the Faroe Islands.
“Our vision draws inspiration from historic Faroese construction methods and the mass timber buildings of the past while offering the University of the Faroe Islands a modern campus that blends seamlessly into the landscape and its varied context,” explains Ósbjørn Jacobsen, design director and partner of Henning Larsen Architects, Faroe Islands.
Embracing the local Faroese custom of “reading the landscape,” this campus project envisions a cluster of buildings placed to create natural shelter.
The new campus will feature an interior space that will serve as a meeting point that will connect a central corridor and a large staircase that will foster everyday interactions, as well as a library, informal study spaces, a canteen, a café, space for research and administration staff, classrooms, and a large flexible auditorium.
The buildings will be constructed using mass timber with glulam and cross-laminated timber (CLT) and will be covered with a turfed roof to seamlessly blend the buildings with the unique landscape of Torshavn.
The project is designed to counteract Torshavn’s often-changing weather – where it can be common to experience multiple weather fronts in one day.
The central courtyard space is enclosed and shielded by buildings on all sides, creating optimal conditions for outdoor activities.
“Using wind and sun simulations, we have positioned the building volume so it is protected from the elements. We are transforming some existing parts of a parking lot into a new green community space, sheltered from the strong Northwestern winds dominating Torshavn,” explains Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Henning Larsen Architects.
“In this way, we add 150 days to the comfortable outdoor season and create the best possible conditions for outdoor life in one of the harshest campus locations in the world.”
Project: New Community Campus Building at the University of Faroe Islands
Architects: Henning Larsen Architects
Lead Architect: Ósbjørn Jacobsen