Klaksvik City Center / Group8

Klaksvik City Center / Group8
Courtesy of Group8

The proposal for the new city center of Klaksvik by Group 8 aims to become a model of design that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable; a place synonymous with modern ideals for living, working, being. The design is inspired by a dense and controlled scale of intervention, based on a strong network where each part of the town will be interconnected through sustainable methods of moving, thus providing a green means of living to all inhabitants. The inter-connected city enhances the close relationship between the actors within and is ready to answer to the new ambitions of the town, while maintaining strong traditions. More images and architects’ description after the break.

With its unique waterfront, green traffic systems and an emphasized accessibility which re-connects the two banks of the town, the city center sets forth a friendly and environmentally sound place to work and live. Composed of a diversity of programs and large spaces open to the sea, the project is an ambassador for the development of the Faroe Islands. The main concern therefore is the creation of a community whilst maintaining a working economy. The overall goal of such urban planning should be to create a sustainable community by providing an amenable central town area, improving the connectivity in the city and providing a layout that fosters the community.

Courtesy of Group8

Our strategy is to reinforce that which already exists, to intensify, to stimulate and to explore the urban and architectural potential of the unique conditions of the actual town. How to re-connect the East and West parts of the town? How to re-invest the central landfill exposed at the sea-facing side? How to re-invent Klaksvik as a dynamic, unique and sustainable city center?

Courtesy of Group8


Courtesy of Group8

The new master plan for the New City Centre allows all inhabitants to be completely involved in the development of the city and become a part of the momentous process. More than any other city, Klaksvik aims to be a model of a perfect work-life balance. “A new, pedestrianised, seaside neighborhood” shall become the new face of Klaksvik. The size of the streets will be developed to allow variable usage, which will encourage attractive and specific programs. The relationships and connectivity between people of the town will lead to a new concept for the city, where human scale is respected and interconnections between people encouraged. By controlling the density and the programmatic diversity, we offer Klaksvik a particular identity based on sustainable parameters. The large area along the sea offers the whole area a strong maritime character with a quiet and unique shore.

Security and Identity


Working with the special climatic conditions of Klaksvik, the New City Center offers some protected areas (marketplaces, terraces, promenades) but also some protected arcades in order to allow pedestrian flows from one point of the center to another. A sustainable town is a town which works despite the weather conditions. Sustainability is also attached to the identification with a city, by urban furniture, signage, landmark buildings, landmark landscapes, hardscape, and places easily appropriated by inhabitants.


diagram 01

The sustainable city center offers good thermal comfort inside buildings (insulated with the traditional vegetal green roof). Attached to this roof can be solar heating solar tubes which respond to the needs of the buildings. The gradient of the roof slopes is to be determined, but previous calculation and studies recommend allowing the north side slopes a gradient of xx°to xx° and for the South side a gradient of xx° to xx°. Energy saving small scale buildings is easier to heat than bigger ones, drawing significant advantage. The grid, which will create all streets and built areas, presents appropriate distances between buildings in terms of light and ventilation. Specific height (one to two storeys up the ground) will optimize views and light penetration into buildings, reducing the need for artificial light. The skyline created by the green roof intervention will give the whole area its particular “landscape identity”, which will be the new urban signature of Klaksvik.

The Klaksvik New City Center is characterized by pedestrian areas and their natural surroundings, like mountains and sea. With a dense and controlled scale of intervention, based on a strong network, each part of the town will now be interconnected through sustainable methods of moving, thus providing a green means of living to all inhabitants. As a symbol of the new sustainable city, the New City Center brings huge potential to the city for development and a strong image, easily identifiable and promotable as one of the new centers of the Faroe Islands. The “Klaksvik New City Center” will allow a high level of standards in terms of sustainability and offer the best surroundings in which to develop an ideal place to work and live in full respect of nature.

diagram 02

Architects: Group8 Location: Klaksvík, Faroe Islands Team: Laurent Ammeter, Adrien Besson, Tarramo Broennimann, Manuel Der Hagopian, François de Marignac, Grégoire Du Pasquier, Oscar Frisk, Christophe Pidoux Client: Municipality of Klaksvík Type: Open International Competition, 2nd prize Program: Apartment, Commerce, Administration office, Tourist information office, Hotel, Library, Sailing sea museum, Culture house, Bus terminal Site Area: 150,000 sqm Study Area: 7.6 ha

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "Klaksvik City Center / Group8" 18 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/244731/klaksvik-city-center-group8> ISSN 0719-8884

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