Bridges not only serve to connect destinations but become places in their own right. With the new town hall, the city of Eystur also got a distinct bridge in addition to a new public service building hosting the City Council and the city’s administrative staff.
Up until 2009, Leirvík and Gøta were individual municipalities in the Faroe Islands separated by a streaming river. Today, they are united under the municipality of Eystur, with the river Eiðisá running right down the middle.
The municipality’s new town hall bridges the two parts with a building design that – quite literally - doubles as a bridge over the water.
Besides bringing a new benefit to the city’s inhabitants with a shortcut, we designed the building this way to elaborate and further develop a traditional Faroese building custom with a design tucked in under the grass:
“A central theme in traditional Faroese architecture is the blurred line between nature and building, the fact that the spectator has difficulties distinguishing where the landscape ends and the building begins Partner and Design Director at the Faroe Islands, Ósbjørn Jacobsen, explains.
With a building so closely connected to a river, flooding can be a challenge. At the Town Hall in Eystur Municipality, we designed the volume under the building to be able to swell in case of cloudbursts or increased water levels.
Furthermore, the water is allowed to flow freely across the width of the building and towards the sea without damaging installations etc., should the river cross its banks.