Nordic Variations

architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
interviewed by Andrija Rusan


Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects was founded in 1986 in Aarhus by Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer and John. F. Lassen. Currently they are one of the most compelling Scandinavian architectural offices, particularly in the field of large-scale cultural projects. They achieved international breakthrough in 1997 with Katuaq Cultural Centre in Nuuk, Greenland. Building around the globe, they are now based in Aarhus, Shanghai and Copenhagen, whose skyline boasts several of their projects such as Nykredit headquarters and The Crystal, Pier C Airport, and the Royal Library. For The Crystal, they were awarded the ArchDaily Building of the Year Award, while for Sir Duncan Rice Library in Aberdeen, UK they received the RIBA National Award. With Kristian Lars Ahlmark, senior partner, we spoke about Scandinavian tradition, global trends in architecture, collaborations with artists Ólafur Elíasson and James Turrell, and the city rebuilding programme in Detroit.