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Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

Denmark Architecture News - Aug 14, 2019 - 06:02   2943 views

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

Iconic Scandinavian architecture firm Henning Larsen Architects has been named as the recipient of the 2019 European Prize for Architecture, the award is given to architects who have made a deep commitment to forward the "principles of European humanism and the art of architecture."

The prestigious prize is awarded annually to European architects and is known internationally as "Europe’s Highest Award for Architecture" organized by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture.

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

The Royal Danish Opera was completed in 2004 by Henning Larsen Architects. Image © Adam Mørk

One of the world’s leading 21st-Century architecture offices, the Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects has been selected as this year’s Laureate of The European Prize for Architecture for the "firm’s unique design approach that is based on human scale, paying strong attention to sustainability, livability, and ultimately social responsibility, while producing exemplarily strong and forceful buildings that ultimately shape the life of tomorrow with fortitude and great erudition."

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

Henning Larsen founded his own architectural practice (1959), where he was active for more than 50 years. Image courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects was founded by Danish architect Henning Larsen in 1959. Following his death in 2013, the acclaimed partners and architects still and proudly carries his name today in a vast array of important works in Denmark and abroad. Henning Larsen Architects is an international studio composed of highly specialized architects, designers, engineers, thinkers and doers.

"We are delighted to present The European Prize for Architecture," stated Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President and CEO, The Chicago Athenaeum, "to this great Danish firm whose powerful designs and a unique design vision celebrate the best of modernist buildings, which are instantaneously complex, iconic, provocative, and profoundly artistic."

"The firm’s exceptional design philosophy is best grounded in that Scandinavian Modernist tradition and best exemplified in such buildings as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1984), the Malmö (Sweden) City Library (1999), thr Würth Art Gallery in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany (2000), Copenhagen Opera (2004), and the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Iceland (2011)."

"Those projects have captured the imagination of people across the globe and have become instantly recognizable as symbols of the nations they represent. In this sense, they are icons that have become eternal," added Narkiewicz-Laine.

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

Mette Kynne Frandsen, CEO & Partner at Henning Larsen Architects. Image courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

The European Prize for Architecture is not a “lifetime of achievement award,” but rather serves as an impetus to support new ideas, to encourage and foster more challenge-making and forward-thinking about buildings and the environment, and to prompt the pushing of the envelope to obtain an even greater, more profound result.

The Prize also honors the commitment and achievements of the best European architects who have determined a more critical, intellectual, and artistic approach to the design of buildings and cities.

Henning Larsen Architects is led by Louis Becker and Mette Kynne Frandsen, who "have both taken the office to even greater heights of status, international celebrity, and global notoriety."

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

Louis Becker, Partner & Design Principal at Henning Larsen Architects. Image courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

As Design Principal and Partner, Louis Becker comprises half of the executive management at Henning Larsen. Over the years, Becker has played an integral role in the internationalization of Henning Larsen, and he remains a driving force behind expanding the practice’s global impact. 

Becker is spearheading Henning Larsen’s entry and positioning in the North American market: Having opened a New York City studio in the fall of 2018, Henning Larsen’s expanding portfolio now includes the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, the Consolidated Office Building in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Etobicoke Civic Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Over three decades at Henning Larsen, Becker has cultivated a wide spectrum of international experience, including expertise in cultural and commercial architecture, universities and masterplan development.

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

The Harpa Concert & Conference Centre in Reykjavik was completed in 2011 by Henning Larsen Architects. Image courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

Becker oversees and has ultimate responsibility for Henning Larsen’s design profile, ensuring the quality of competition proposals and maintaining architectural standards and integrity in subsequent planning.

Since 2003, Mette Kynne Frandsen has been CEO of the Henning Larsen Group. She also serves as chair of the board of Henning Larsen’s subsidiaries in Hong Kong, New York, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the Faroe Islands.

Since its founding, Henning Larsen has sought to create conditions for better living, said a statement. The studio seeks to challenge, change and create physical environments—from cities, urban spaces and buildings to interiors—with design concepts that meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

Henning Larsen Architects completed the new Opera House in Yuhang. Image © Philippe Ruault

From the very beginning, Henning Larsen’s work has been defined by people, daylight, and space. The ideal is a “living architecture;” a “design for people.”

"Henning Larsen always designed from a fundamental belief that daylight creates light and joy, and the studio still strives to bring ample daylight into every design, employing light as a tool for creating community, defining aesthetics and supporting sustainability."

As architects, well-defined spaces are the foundation of Henning Larsen’s work; designing spatial programs that continuously push the boundaries of what is possible.

Henning Larsen Architects Wins 2019 European Prize For Architecture

Henning Larsen Architects is currently working on the transformation of Opéra Bastille in Paris. Image courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

In a more recent project, the Esbjerg Bypark, Esbjerg, Denmark (2019) proposes restoring and enhancing the park's existing features, including a grassy amphitheater and concrete bunkers, to create event and meeting spaces. The project aims to create a cultural and social hub between Esbjerg's city centre and port, providing locals with a "respite from the industrial surroundings.”

Today, Henning Larsen employs approximately 300 people from over 30 different nations in seven offices globally: Copenhagen, New York City, Hong Kong, Munich, Oslo and the Faroe Islands. Over 60 years, Henning Larsen has worked in over 20 countries, developing an international reputation as one of Denmark’s most recognized architecture and design practices.

"Henning Larsen Architect’s commitment to design excellence, knowledge-based design, and professionalism is embodied in a catalog of award-winning projects, bright client evaluations and successful professional partnerships," states Kieran Conlon, Director, The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

"In recent years, the firm has won over 35 design competitions world-wide, as well as a number of prestigious design awards."

Last year, The European Prize for Architecture was given to the Russian/German architect Sergei Tchoban. Previous Laureates include: Bjarke Ingels (Denmark), Graft Architects (Germany), TYIN Architects (Norway), Marco Casagrande (Finland), Alessandro Mendini (Italy), Santiago Calatrava (Spain/Switzerland), LAVA Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (Germany), and Manuelle Gautrand (France).

Top image: Henning Larsen Architects' housing complex "The Wave" in Denmark. Image © Jacob Due

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