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Urban Design Competition, Klaksviik, Faroe Islands, 2012

Klaksvik is a fishing town in the Faroe Islands that anticipates great expansion in the near future. Its volcanic landscape exacerbates extreme wind and sun conditions already existing in the North Atlantic. Like the traditional stone wind shelter, Nóatún proposes that each city block turns its protective back to the wind and opens up to the sun. These urban “wind-breaks” wrap around existing buildings and incorporate them into their loop. The undulating form of the volumes is a product of a wind and sun analysis that aims to produce an optimal form for each block, providing maximum shelter, and maximum sunlight to enter the courtyards. As this strategy of looping and sheltering stiches across the isthmus of Klaksvik, interstitial protected pockets are generated as public spaces. The perimeter of the harbor is doubled by adding key incisions to the existing pier. While two new public buildings protrude outward into the water the pier-ends remain free of buildings, using topographic change to create pockets of lee space in the most exposed areas.