Timeless Wonder

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p 29Primarily known as a cultural venue, the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands is gaining prominence as a conference center, too — not least owing to its special combination of functionality, stylish elegance, and down-to-earth accessibility.

For decades, the architectural pearl that is the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands has steadily exerted its considerable cultural influence on Tórshavn and the rest of the Faroes. The striking, turf-roofed structure of glass, stone and steel was seamlessly extended with a conference hall in 2008, on the occasion of its 25-year anniversary, clearing the way for increased activity levels.

“There was already a growing interest among businesses and organizers to use the House for major events, both cultural and business,” said managing director Síf Gunnars­dóttir.

However after the extension, unsurprisingly, the demand for conferences and business related events started to accelerate. “Apparently more businesspeople started to realize that this venue is suitable for many types of conferences, courses, and corporate events,” Ms. Gunnarsdóttir said.

“At the same time we have noted an upward trend in larger events, especially as a cultural venue, which is our primary function, but also as a conference venue. Some of the major cultural events — classical concerts, art exhibitions, pop music events, for example — seem to grow bigger and bigger; and the same can be said of a growing number of large business events and conferences.”

So what would be the reason for the rising popularity of the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands as a cultural venue and a conference center?

For sure, Norwegian architect Ola Steen’s masterpiece is outstanding and special; and yet it blends into the natural environment as if always a part of it. Its marvelous yet inviting architecture seems to unite the best of two worlds.

On a more practical level, it’s relatively spacious, has a relaxed atmosphere and is very well equipped with the latest technology.

“Much can be said about the design of the house and, obviously, it has been proved very successful,” Ms. Gunnarsdóttir said. “Most people seem to agree that it’s both beautiful and useful at the same time. It’s often maintained that it’s timeless and I agree — it continues to feel modern and contemporary after many years. It has this peculiar attribute in that it tends to grow, as it were; and it seems people appreciate it more and more.”

“On the other hand,” she added, “the success of an enterprise like this is invariably linked to the people directly involved. So the employees have played a key role and continue to do so.”

Whichever way, for an increasing number of residents and visitors alike, the house represents an understated wonder that keeps on keeping on.