Faroe Islands Education Centre
by BIG and Fuglark



Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group and Faroe Islands architects Fuglark have won a commission to design an education centre at Torshavn on the Faroe Islands.


The Faroe Islands Education Centre is the largest ever project to be built on the islands.


See all our stories about Bjarke Ingels Group in our special category.


Here's some text from BIG:


BIG and Fuglark to design Faroe Islands Education Centre.

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 and COWI.


"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



CLIENT: Ministry of Culture / Landsverk
SIZE: 19.200 m2
LOCATION: Torshavn, Faroe Islands
COLLABORATORS: Lemming & Eriksson, Samal Johannesen, Martin E. Leo SP/F, KJ Elrad

PROJECT ARCHITECT: Ole Elkjær‐Larsen, Johan Cool
TEAM: Finn Nørkjær, Ken Aoki, Takumi Iwasawa, Oana Simionescu, Frederik Lyng, Christian Alvarez Gomez, Gaetan
Brunet, Todd Bennett


Posted on Monday December 14th 2009 at 5:25 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Wow! Yet another amazing building design by BIG. These guys are getting more and more exposure by the day. Great stuff.

  • Twitteresque

    now- could it be more boring?! BUT- very convincing collages!

  • p. j.


  • Andrew Chow

    something simple but has huge impact on the study environment, great job BIG

  • corso

    Its nice, and is a very rational approach towards a solution for a building. The influence of OMA it’s very evident. In using the “program’s graphic chart bars” as the object to manipulate the form of the design, it’s a strategy inherited by the globally projection of modernism. I don’t know if thats good or bad, but I could say it’s very mechanical.

  • willem

    S M L XL BIG
    congratulations big friends!
    dezeen can be happy with such a great provider …

  • Finners

    Excellent stuff.

    Looks really well thought out and an amazing study environment.

  • Muthanna

    Great design overall, but seriously why do they have goats and people placed randomly across the green landscape in that one rendering? i thought it was a joke!! HAHA RENDER FAIL!! also the cylindrical thing in the center looks like its going to spin very fast and take off..

  • barca7

    by far the most aesthetically pleasing thing from BIG i’ve seen recently, very focused and minimal. the site looks like it will be a breathtaking location.