Henning Larsen Architects
"Our goal is to create vibrant, sustainable projects that reach beyond themselves and become of durable value to the user and to the society and culture they are built into."
Henning Larsen Architects, an international architecture company with strong Scandinavian roots was founded in 1959 by architect Henning Larsen after his study trip to the United States. Started out with only one architecture student as a staff, the firm, currently, is one of Europe's leading architectural companies which employ 190 people and working on projects in over 20 countries. Today, the firm is owned by a joint group of partners consisting of Henning Larsen, Louis Becker, Mette Kynne Frandsen, Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen, Jacob Kurek and Lars Steffensen and had celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009.
According to the firm, Architecture is their focal point and the projects are created on the basis of high ambition, curiosity and a wish to contribute positively to a world in change. Their architecture is based on human scale paying strong attention to sustainability and social responsibility.
The firm is inspired by its colleagues, partners, the site and location, society, science, nature and the company's own history which led them to hold a leading position in the field of architecture while at the same time maintaining its openness and curiosity in the collaboration with others. Their designs emanate from a variety of different themes. The themes have manifested themselves in various ways from project to project. Its architectural visions and ideas are continuously developed in accordance with its broad spectrum of assignments ranging in size from single-family houses to concert halls, hospitals, and masterplans.
Most of the company's projects are based on competitions and the international focus has been present right from the beginning. One of the first competitions won by Henning Larsen Architects was Stockholm University in 1961. The first prize resulted in an international breakthrough.
But before that in 1960, the company had also won the competition for the school, Klostermarksskolen, in the Danish town of Roskilde. Achieving a close relationship to the educational field was part of the company philosophy from the outset and the development of new ideas and teaching methods has continuously influenced and renewed the company's architecture. Furthermore, a number of employees at Henning Larsen Architects occasionally give lectures at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in addition to their work as architects. From 1968 to 1995, Henning Larsen was engaged as a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In 2008, Partner and Director Louis Becker was appointed adjunct professor in the Department of Architecture and Design at Aalborg University.
Henning Larsen Architects constantly seeks to keep abreast of world developments –professionally as well as culturally. Over the years, the firm has designed a large number of significant projects all over the world, including several educational institutions – from primary schools to universities - and cultural buildings – from museums to libraries and large, monumental concert halls.
The firm has worked in the Middle East since the 1970s. In 1980, the company won the international competition for the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia. In 2006, Henning Larsen Architects won the competition for a large masterplan for a new financial district in Riyadh. In 2008, the company opened a subsidiary in Riyadh. It also has an office in Munich Germany, Oslo Norway, and in Istanbul, Turkey.
Design Philosophy based on SustainabilityHenning Larsen Architects attaches great importance to designing environmental-friendly and integrated, energy-efficient solutions. Their projects are characterized by a high degree of social responsibility –not only in relation to materials and production but also as regards good, social spaces encouraging intimacy and community.
The firm comes up with an idea after an inspiring dialogue with the client, users and partners in order to achieve long-lasting buildings and a beneficial lifecycle economy. This value-based approach is the key to their designs of numerous building projects around the world – from complex masterplans to successful architectural landmarks.
The firm knows numerous solutions to reduce energy consumption in building processes and incorporate the same in their projects from the very first sketches. Through their projects, they have demonstrated that it is possible to save 80% of the energy consumption simply by designing and situating correctly (functional positioning, height, width and depth) in relation to the surrounding urban landscape and climate. Therefore, they believe that achieving sustainability is all about making the right design decisions, taking into early consideration the indoor climate and comfort. It is essential to know the connection between energy reduction and indoor climate. Often, energy consumption compensates for the poor indoor climate and comfort of a building.