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Island Building Doubles as Bridge

Friday, September 7, 2018

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Continuing a Faroese tradition of blending architecture with the landscape, architecture firm Henning Larsen designed the Eysturkommuna town hall, located in Nordragota in the Faroe Islands, to double as a bridge, connecting two communities.

For the architects, primary inspiration for the design lay in “the notion of this fleeting line between landscape and building,” notes Ósbjørn Jacobsen, partner at Henning Larsen. Jacobsen is also known for his work on the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. Construction began on the bridge building in 2015.

Bridging the Gap

The 700-square-meter (7,500-square-foot) single-story structure physically and metaphorically connects two formerly separate municipalities. Pedestrians are able to cross over the grass-covered roof while the interior contains office space for the area’s civil servants, as well as reception areas. A large room contains the town’s council chamber, featuring a circular glass-cover opening that provides a view of the river.

"Many contemporary contributions to Faroese architecture directly copy elements from traditional buildings," said Jacobsen. “I find it much more interesting to look into the underlying thoughts of traditional buildings."

According to the architects, the terraces and roof are open to the public. A sound and light installation, created by artist Jens Ladekarl Thomsen, evocative of the sights and sounds of the area, is installed alongside the building, with speakers built into the structure’s wooden cladding. Floodlight projectors are installed underneath, lighting up the river below.

"The primary conceptual idea behind the design of the Town Hall is driven by the notion of this fleeting line between landscape and building—I believe that could be one way to approach modern Faroese architecture,” said Jacobsen.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Color + Design; Design; Europe; Government; Maintenance + Renovation

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