Some of the world’s oldest functioning timber buildings can be found in the Faroe Islands, in the North Atlantic. So it was fitting that when asked to propose a new complex of university buildings there, the Danish firm Henning Larsen submitted a visionary integration of mass timber and microclimate design.

Inspired by ancient Faroese building techniques used to keep warm in cold weather, the design for the campus at the University of the Faroe Islands, in Torshavn, aims to extend the more comfortable outdoor season by 150 days each year.

The massive plan calls for a central “street,” in addition to a library, canteen, café, classrooms, large auditorium, and research spaces. Mass timber, including glulam and CLT, will be the primary construction materials. The buildings will also feature turfed roofs, paying homage to the natural beauty of the surrounding, postcard-worthy landscape.

Henning Larsen