Henning Larsen has revealed the design for Smyril Line’s new headquarters and ferry terminal in Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. Embracing the picturesque backdrop of lush landscapes and open seas, the building pays homage to traditional Faroese fishing boats and the historic Eastern harbor.
Smyril Line’s new 8000 m2 headquarters serves three distinct functions – a ferry terminal, office building, and logistics centre. The terminal, poised to become a sought-after tourist destination, features a publicly accessible outdoor ramp area that reconnects Torshavn’s residents with the Eastern harbor. Once the primary gateway connecting the Faroe Islands with the rest of the world.
Nestled in a prominent location in central Torshavn, just around the corner from the Faroese parliament building, the building seamlessly blends wood and concrete elements with the surrounding landscape. These design elements pay tribute to Faroese culture and traditions. The wooden structure mirrors the graceful contours of traditional Faroese fishing boats. Crafted with a single axe and tracing their origins back to Viking times, these boats are included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The base structure of the building reflects the hand-built coastal paths frequently found on smaller Faroese islands, providing easy boat access from the water through the steep cliff faces to small wooden boat buildings. As Smyril Line operates passenger ferries across Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland, the terminal will serve as both a layover and departure point for travellers.
The design prioritizes adaptability to the changing seasons and the Nordic climate, ensuring a seamless experience for arriving and departing passengers. A dedicated vehicle drop-off leads directly to the main entrance and encompasses two levels housing a public waiting room, café, registration desk, and International Ship and Port Facility Security area. The upper waiting room grants access to a terrace ramp, where visitors can relax in greenery and impressive views.
This space epitomizes the connection between the community and outside visitors, returning public accessibility to the area. The ramp’s verdant landscape features native Faroese vegetation and offers an elevated vantage point of the city. Situated at the heart of the building, elevated above ground level, the Smyril Line headquarters offers a welcoming environment for over 100 employees.
To ensure safety and security, the office area is thoughtfully separated from the terminal. The design of the office space goes beyond functionality, aiming to foster a strong sense of community among employees from diverse backgrounds while prioritizing their well-being.
Emphasizing collaboration and interaction, the central common area has been thoughtfully designed as a social hub within the headquarters.
Integrating harmoniously with the surrounding landscape, the office’s unique feature is an expansive private internal garden. Also designed by Henning Larsen, the landscape architecture of the multi-level outdoor garden creates a serene and refreshing atmosphere for employees to enjoy, complementing a spacious open-concept canteen, serving as a retreat where employees can rejuvenate amidst nature. Source by Henning Larsen.
Location: Torshavn, Faroe Islands, Denmark
Architect: Henning Larsen
Client: Smyril Line