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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Faroe Islands Education Centre, Torshavn, Faroe Islands

BIG wins largest ever commission on the Faroe Islands
BIG, in collaboration with Fuglark, Lemming & Eriksson, Sámal Johannesen, Martin E. Leo and KJ Elrad have won the largest ever commission on the Faroe Islands for a 19,200 sq m Education Centre in Torshavn.

The winning design was chosen among five submissions by a unanimous jury, comprised of an architect, representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Landsverk together with principals from each of the three schools. As the largest educational building project in the country’s history, the institution combines a gymnasium, Torshavn’s Technical College and Business College in one building, housing 1,200 students and 300 teachers.

Located on a hillside, 100m above the sea level with a panoramic view overlooking the sea, mountains and harbour 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 organised as a school in a school with ideal conditions for each, while creating a sense of community for learning and life. 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.

Bjarke Ingels, Creative Director, BIG said: "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."

Jakup Pauli Johannesen, Partner, Fuglark Architects commented: “The architecture of the school emphasises an educational equality, with lobbies and the central rotunda space promoting a sense of community across the three different schools.”

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