An innovative take on historical farming: White Arkitekter, finalist in Nordic Built Challenge

“The Eyes of Runavik” is a landmark which explores historical modes of farming and settlement in an innovative way, and suits the steep terrains and the climatic conditions of Runavik in the Faroe Islands. A collaborative effort between White Arkitekter and the Norwegian engineering company DIFK/Florian Kosch, the project stands as one of four finalists of the prestigious Nordic Built Challenge.

“The Eyes of Runavik” aims to establish a harmony between nature and man-made, with low impact and high standards of economic, social and environmental sustainability. It draws inspiration from traditional Faroese agriculture, where the outfield, “hagi”, is used for summer grazing, whereas the cultivated land, “bøur”, is generally used for growing crops. Each building ring – or “eye” – can be seen as a settlement in itself, with the outfield as the landscape all around, and the infield as the cultivated microclimate in the centre.

“It’s an innovative landmark building typology adapting to the terrains in Runavik and respecting the local climatic conditions and resources. The interior garden shelters from the harsh Faroese winds, while the area surrounding individual homes remains an unspoiled wilderness”, says Mikkel Thams Olsen, architect at White’s office in Copenhagen. “To adjust to the steep terrain, individual building rings are created; each “eye” possesses a unique character while every home has a view over the fjord”.

 White’s team will now move into the design development phase as the project enters the competition’s second phase.

 “Nordic Built Challenge is an important competition for us. We’re happy to pool resources and expertise from White’s offices in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, bringing the strongest skills to the table. We have also been collaborating with a Norwegian engineer familiar with projects sited on this challenging terrain”, says Morten Vedelsbøl, creative director at White.

The proposal is a direct composition of Faroese context and uses local resources, such as basalt rock, water, wind, geothermal heat, vegetation and sheep wool. The aim is to make the buildings and the roads highly sustainable and harmonious with local architecture and the surrounding nature.

Contact and photos:  kd.et1508784185ihw@s1508784185maht.1508784185lekki1508784185m1508784185, +45 601 50 660

About Nordic Built:
Nordic Built is initiated by the Nordic Ministers for Trade and Industry. It combines key Nordic strengths, provides attractive and effective arenas for collaboration and realises concrete projects that demonstrate world-class scalable solutions.