bjarke ingels group has unveiled the latest images of its completed educational project situated in the undulating fjords of the faroe islands. located in the country’s capital of tórshavn, the ‘glasir’ college benefits from views over the city and out to sea. with a program combining the faroe islands gymnasium, tórshavn technical college and the business college, the building caters for over 1,750 students, teachers and staff.
all images © rasmus hjortshoj
the design of ‘glasir’ by BIG intends to retain the individual identity of all the combined schools and the form of the building has been shaped to suit these different requirements of all the students and teachers. the architectural expression is conceived as a stack of five individual levels that wrap around a central courtyard: one for each of the three institutions, one for food and faculty, and one for physical exercise and gatherings. the building is organized like a vortex, with each level opening up and the top levels radiating 100ft (30m) out towards the mountainous landscape.
the main entrance of the school is accessible from a dramatic bridge due to the steep slope of the site. students and teachers are immediately welcomed by the large circular courtyard which creates a natural gathering point across all floor levels and academic interests. designed as an extension and interpretation of the natural landscape, the 32m diameter indoor courtyard with terraced steps provide generous, flexible spaces for group meetings, social events and dining, as well as auditorium seating for larger events or announcements. above, gigantic transparent skylights shelter the space from the wind and weather of the harsh faroese climate while allowing abundant daylight into the atrium.
cascading across several levels, the stepped topography merges the multistory building into a single entity. at the top levels, the high school and business school cantilever towards the mountain-range and moorland landscapes, creating a building that open towards the city in all directions. the outer backdrop to the stunning faroese landscape surrounding the education center is always visible, from the courtyard and classrooms to the gymnasium and library.
the interior material selection of stone, cast concrete and wood with different surface treatments form a natural canvas, while the exterior choice of glass and aluminum creates a neutral background to the school’s sculptural design. seen from outside, the exterior glass façades are mounted in a sawtooth shingle that allow the straight elements to form a soft circular shape and blend into the natural surroundings. over time, grass planted on the rooftops will slowly grow to allow the education center to disappear into the faroese landscape.
project name: ‘glasir’ – tórshavn college
project location: tórshavn, faroe islands
architect: BIG / bjarke ingels group
partners-in-charge: bjarke ingels, finn nørkjær
project architect: ole elkjær larsen, høgni laksáfoss
team: david zahle, boris peianov, camilla luise de andrade stadler, camille crepin, christian alvarez, claudio moretti, claus rytter bruun de neergaard, dag præstegaard, daniel pihl, dennis rasmussen, edouard boisse, elisha nathoo, enea michelesio, eskild nordbud, eskild schack pedersen, ewelina moszczynska, frederik lyng, gaetan brunet, goda luksaite, greta krenciute, henrik kania, ioana fartadi scurtu, jakob lange, jakob teglgård hansen, jan besikov, jan kudlicka, jeppe ecklon, jesper boye andersen, ji-young yoon, johan cool, kamilla heskje, kari-ann petersen, katarzyna stachura, katerina joannides, kim christensen, krista meskanen, kristoffer negendahl, laura youf, long zuo, maria teresa fernandez rojo, martin cajade, michael schønemann jensen, mikkel marcker stubgaard, nanna gyldholm møller, niklas rausch, nobert nadudvari, oana simionescu, ole dau mortensen, pawel bussold, richard burns, richard howis, rune hansen, sabine kokina, simonas petrakas, sofia sofianou, stefan plugaru, takumi iwasawa, tiago sá, tobias hjortdal, tommy bjørnstrup, tore banke, victor bejenaru, xiao xuan lu
area: 206,667 ft2 (19200 m2)
client: mentamalaradid (ministry of culture) / landsverk
collaborators: fuglark, lemming & eriksson, rosan bosch, samal johannesen, martin e. leo sp/f, kj elrad radgevandi verkfroendingar
photography: rasmus hjortshoj
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