BIG and Fuglark have won the competition to design a 19.200 m2 Faroe Islands Education Centre in Torshavn. The project was designed as a vortex, located on a hillside, 100 m above the sea level with a panoramic view overlooking the sea, mountains and harbor of Torshavn. It has successfully created a focusing point as school heart, and radiated outwards in response to its surrounding.
+ Press release courtesy of BIG
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and a team of consultants win the largest ever commission on the Faroe Islands for a 19.200 m2 Education Centre in Torshavn.
BIG, in collaboration with Fuglark, Lemming & Eriksson, Sámal Johannesen, Martin E. Leo and KJ Elrad design the new Education Centre in Marknagil situated on a hillside on the outskirts of Torshavn, to serve as a base for coordination and future development of all educational programmes in the region. As the largest educational building project in the country’s history, the institution combines Faroe Islands Gymnasium, Torshavns Technical College and Business College of Faroe Islands in one building, housing 1.200 students and 300 teachers. The winning design was chosen among five submissions by an unanimous jury, comprised of an architect, representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Landsverk together with principals from each of the three schools.
Ever since the first presentation, the team demonstrated a good grasp of the assignment. The design appeared clear and thought through already early in the process, with a good communication of the projects’ functionality.
The Jury of the Faroe Islands Education Centre
Located on a hillside, 100 m above the sea level with a panoramic view overlooking the sea, mountains and harbor of Torshavn, the project is designed as a vortex, radiating out towards its surroundings while at the same time focusing in on the school’s inner landscape for learning the lessons of life. Each institution is organized as a school in a school with ideal conditions for each, while creating a sense of community for learning and life. The generous surroundings provide unique opportunities to shape the school from the inside out – as a functional sculpture formed by the schools internal needs.
Form follows Function
Each school will function independently comprising the space it requires with room to grow in the future.
Additionally by combining the three schools under one roof they will create the synergetic effect of a vertical campus. At the school’s heart is an open rotunda space, creating a natural gathering point across floor levels and academic interests. A stepped interior reflects the undulating Faroese landscape with its alternating plateaus, stairwells and terraces serving different social and academic activities.
The school is a pedagogical diagram turned in the form of a building in the open hilly landscape formed by the considerations to the internal functional needs rather than external limitations. The architectural expression of the new Education Centre in Marknagil captures the essence of: form follows function.
Bjarke Ingels, Creative Director, BIG
The architecture of the school emphasizes an educational equality, with lobbies and the central rotunda space promoting a sense of community across the three different schools.
Jakup Pauli Johannesen, Partner, Fuglark Architects
+ Project credits / data
PROJECT: Faroe Islands Education Centre
CLIENT: Mentamalaradid (Ministry of Culture) / Landsverk
SIZE: 19.200 m2
LOCATION: Torshavn, Faroe Islands
STATUS: 1ST Prize
ARCHITECT: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Fuglark
COLLABORATORS: Lemming & Eriksson, Samal Johannesen, Martin E. Leo SP/F, KJ Elrad Radgevandi Verkfroedingar
PARTNER IN CHARGE: Bjarke Ingels
PROJECT LEADER: Jakob Lange
PROJECT MANAGER: David Zahle
PROJECT ARCHITECT: Johan Cool, Ole Elkjær-Larsen
TEAM: Finn Nørkjær, Ken Aoki, Takumi Iwasawa, Oana Simionescu, Frederik Lyng, Christian Alvarez Gomez, Gaetan
Brunet, Todd Bennett