faroe islands university to grow with mass timber


Henning Larsen‘s winning proposal for a new university building in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, is a visionary blend of mass timber construction and microclimate design. The design for the community campus at the University of the Faroe Islands aims to extend the comfortable outdoor season by an impressive 150 days each year, providing ideal conditions for students to learn and socialize. Drawing inspiration from the historic Faroese settlements and ancient building adaptation techniques to North Atlantic weather conditions, the architecture takes shape as a cluster of timber structures that offer natural shelter, all while respecting the local Faroese custom of ‘reading the landscape.’


Among the six teams competing teams were Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and COBE, with Henning Larsen’s winning project expected to complete construction in 2026.

henning larsen unveils winning mass timber extension for faroe islands universityvisualizations © Plomp@plo.mp



the heart of henning larsen’s torshavn campus


Encompassing an area of 8,000 square-meters, Henning Larsen’s design envisions an interior square that serves as the heart of the campus. Within this central space, a ‘street’ and a large stair encourage everyday interactions among students, fostering a sense of community. The campus’s comprehensive facilities include a library, informal study spaces, a canteen, a café, spaces for research and administration staff, classrooms, and a flexible auditorium. By considering every aspect of the student experience, the architects hope to create an enriching and engaging environment for learning.

henning larsen faroe universityprimary construction materials will include glulam and CLT



A Modern design Rooted in History


With its university campus extension, Henning Larsen honors the heritage of the Faroe Islands, on which can be found some of the world’s oldest functioning timber buildings. This rich architectural heritage, which dates back to the 11th century, is characterized by traditional craftsmanship and iconic designs and has deeply influenced the university extension’s overall concept. Mass timber, including glulam and CLT, will be the primary construction materials, contributing to the sustainability and timeless appeal of the campus. To respectfully blend with the postcard landscape of Torshavn, the buildings will be topped by a turfed roof, paying homage to the natural beauty of the surroundings.


Our vision draws inspiration from historic Faroese construction methods and the mass timber buildings of the past while offering the University of the Faroe Islands a modern campus that blends seamlessly into the landscape and its varied context,’ says Ósbjørn Jacobsen, Design Director and Partner at Henning Larsen Faroe Islands.

henning larsen faroe university
some of the world’s oldest functioning timber buildings can be found on the Faroe Islands



A Self-Sustaining Haven with Innovative Green Facades


One of the most important features of Henning Larsen’s design is its innovative approach to green facades. Rather than standing as superficial additions to the structures, the green elements are intrinsic to the building’s fabric. The northern and southern elevations of the buildings will feature facade modules designed to support vegetation growth throughout the year, adapting to the Northern Atlantic climate of the Faroe Islands. Henning Larsen’s self-sustaining modular facade system thus integrates nature as an essential and intentional part of the overall design.

henning larsen faroe university
facade modules will support vegetation growth throughout the year, adapting to the unpredictable climate



To counteract the unpredictable weather conditions and create optimal outdoor conditions, the design incorporates a central courtyard space that is enclosed and shielded by surrounding buildings. This approach ensures that outdoor activities can take place even during inclement weather, contributing to an extended outdoor season of up to five months.

henning larsen unveils winning mass timber extension for faroe islands universityview of the Northern Atlantic site in Torshavn



Using wind and sun simulations, we have positioned the building volume so it is protected from the elements. We are transforming some existing parts of a parking lot into a new green community space, sheltered from the strong Northwestern winds dominating Torshavn,’ says Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Henning Larsen.


In this way, we add 150 days to the comfortable outdoor season and create the best possible conditions for outdoor life in one of the harshest campus locations in the world.’



site plan
site plan
exploded axonometric
exploded axonometric

project info:


project title: New central community building at the University of Faroe Islands

architecture: Henning Larsen | @henninglarsenarchitects

location: Torshavn, Faroe Islands

size: 8,000 square-meters

client: Fróskaparsetur Føroya (University of Faroe Islands)

completion: expected 2026

visualizations: © Plomp@plo.mp