A new home for Faroese Rowing: Klaksvik Row Club by Henning Larsen

Klaksvik Row Club

Central to Henning Larsen’s urban plan for the town of Klaksvík is a new landmark that celebrates the Faroese sports heritage. The Klaksvík Row Club, equipped with cutting-edge amenities for its athletes, draws both locals and visitors alike with its welcoming views of the surrounding landscapes.

Situated within a picturesque fjord that shields from the Atlantic’s harsh winds and grants views to neighboring islands, Klaksvík is the second-largest town in the Faroe Islands and home to 5,000 residents. In the last decade, The Faroe Islands’ capital of fishery has embarked on a journey to establish itself.

Henning Larsen has led the design of the dynamic urban plan allowing space for adaption over time, with the first buildings completed in 2018. The core of the plan centers on people, prioritizing pedestrian access and incorporating lively destinations such as a children’s skating rink and row club adjacent to the central plaza.

The Klaksvík Row Club has emerged as a vital contribution to Klaksvík’s refreshed identity. Rowing, the national sport of the Faroe Islands, is a significant part of Faroese culture, with athletes dedicating considerable time and effort to year-round training and competitions against neighboring towns.

The handcrafting and use of traditional wooden Faroese boats have been around for centuries and hold emotional and historical importance for their people. Traditionally 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.

“Our design approach was deeply rooted in the landscape and culture of Klaksvík. The sloping green roof and timber façade pay homage to the surrounding natural beauty, while also nodding to the traditional architecture of the Faroe Islands; a harmonious dialogue between the built environment and the fjord landscape,” says Ósbjørn Jacobsen, Design Director, Faroe Islands, Henning Larsen.

The clubhouse is designed with a commitment to functionality and enjoyment. The 620 m² structure features a sloping green roof and a timber façade that mirrors the beauty of the adjacent landscape and honors traditional Faroese design.

When preparing to launch the boats, expansive doors open from the boat storage area onto the wooden dock and water facilitating efficient transitions into and out of the water. Boats can be safely and swiftly stored away in a compactly designed compartment within the building.

The open timber interior not only provides abundant space for training sessions but is also a welcoming spot for shared coffee breaks or moments of relaxation. Large windows and a loft area offer visitors vast scenic views and ample natural light whether engaged in a workout or simply passing through.

The clubhouse also serves as a public venue hosting a variety of events and exhibitions, and a notable tourist attraction, proudly showcasing the traditional craftsmanship of Faroese boat-making. During warmer months, there is plenty of space to gather outside, creating a lively city corner equipped with a café.

“We wanted to create a space that is more than simple boat storage. The expansive doors opening onto the wooden dock and the open timber interior were designed to enhance the community use of the space,” says Ósbjørn Jacobsen, Design Director, Faroe Islands, Henning Larsen.

The Klaksvík masterplan is now 40-60% completed, with plans to expand and further prioritize pedestrian access. Henning Larsen’s urban layout is designed to be dynamic, allowing for adaptation over time. The city’s former post office, purchased by the municipality, is converted into a cultural house. Source by Henning Lanrsen.