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BIG and Fuglark to design Faroe Islands Education Centre

December 14, 2009

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.


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


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

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