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Some 20 years ago work on the embassy complex in Berlin began. Each country selected an architect to capture his or her country’s national character. At that time several of these architects were relatively unknown, but today they rank among their land’s leading practitioners. What does Nordic architecture mean for them and how should it be developed to remain relevant?
Knowledge is society’s prime mover Helle Juul claims, the architect responsible for numerous university campuses in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Here she presents concrete tips as to how urban planning can advance the exchange of learning.
Gert Wingårdh, five-time winner of the Kasper Salin Prize, takes us on a journey from prehistory to the future. Man remains unchanged, he claims, but have the architects understood it?
Paris is said to be the most romantic city in Europe. But it’s also Europe’s most modern. That at least is the view of the progressive architectural firm LAN Paris, who have studied the town's history and come up with the answer to how tomorrow’s cities can be more beautiful, more mobile, sustainable and flexible. The solution? Learning from the legendary urban planner Baron Haussmann.
A year ago Sima Zangiabadi crossed from one side to the other of the negotiating table. From her role as practising architect she is now head of business development at Peab. By shifting to the client’s side she hopes to able to raise the status of architects.
How can people be brought to meet across class barriers? In the Vallastaden, Linköping, Sweden, OkiDoki Arkitekter mingle apartment buildings, terraced housing and private houses to form a dense and varied structure. This is thanks to a more quality conscious land distribution policy by the local authority, says Richard Stark.
Ever since Snøhetta’s sensational winning of the Alexandria library contest in 1989, the firm has pursued a prestige-free interdisciplinary working method that has been largely responsible for its present status as one of the world’s top architectural firms. The firm’s founder, Kjetil Thorsen, explains the importance of listening.
Shared economies are redefining our attitudes to ownership and identity. With fewer obligations public space can be reinvigorated with new lightness. Architect Gro Bonesmo wonders what architecture will look like in The Cloud City.
The architect Emma Jonsteg is recognised as one of the Nordic countries’ fiercest critics in architectural matters. The risk of scaring away potential clients would seem threatening but the effect has instead been the opposite. Her firm, Utopia arkitekter, is going better than ever.
Since 2011 Monica von Schmalensee has been CEO of White arkitekter. Now she is switching to become adviser to Sadiq Khan, Lord Mayor of London. What has London to learn from her and the Scandinavian countries?
40 percent of Hamburg’s centre consists of green spaces. Susanne Metz, head of Hamburg’s urban planning, explains how – in the face of pressures to increase urban density – she manages to protect these spaces, thanks to a progressive cycling policy.
Who dares cycle in a chaotic metropolis like London? More and more it seems. And it is Paul Lavelle’s task to make this possible. But as senior planner for Transport for London’s ambitious cycling programme he meets many antagonists.
High speed train stations, metro stops, ferry terminals and airports. Zaha Hadid Architects have explored to the full the varied modes of expression that today’s mobile lifestyle permits. Filippo Innocenti, one of the architects who inherited Zaha Hadid’s formidable legacy, explains how a total travel experience can be created combined with maximum functionality.
More. For more people. And for longer. This is Charles Renfro’s maxim in his role as architect, to enable greater public accessibility in our cities. He takes as examples three of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s projects, one in New York, one in Moscow and one in Rio.
Reykjavik, Hamburg, London, Copenhagen and Gothenburg. They all want to give priority to bicycles rather than cars. But methods vary. What can these five cities learn from each other?
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In the Nordic region wood has been used as a building material for tens of thousands of years. Anssi Lassila recounts what he has learnt from traditional construction methods and how this has helped him create innovative solutions for the future.
An airport, a library and a performing arts centre. Antti Nousjoki from ALA offers three examples of how advanced digital techniques can be applied to create expressive timber constructions, even in the largest of public spaces.
The 134 entries to the Nordic Architecture Fair Award were first shortlisted to eight and then slimmed to one final winner. Mark Isitt, architecture critic and initiator of the competition, interviews the winner. Please note: the identity of the winning entry and architect will be revealed first when results are presented on 7 November.
The Reykjavik region is expanding fast. How can Iceland’s spectacular and overwhelming natural scenery be integrated into a compact, mixed urban setting? Landscape architect Thrainn Hauksson is one of those behind these expansion plans.
Urbanisation ignores the countryside. According to one Danish source, within the next 20 years or so some 100,000 empty homes will have to be demolished. Can architecture rescue these depopulating areas? Or is the opportunity already lost?
Shared economies, e-commerce, social media… How is architecture affected by the altered lifestyle that digitalisation brings with it? Will architecture move with the times or remain static and traditional? Rahel Belatchew glimpses an opening for a new design era.
Circular economy is a global mega trend. Meet representatives from companies and academia that is working with circular economy within the building sector and listen to their greatest challenges and the opportunities and trends that they are seeing. This speech is facilitated by Fissac - a EU project trying to support the development of a circular economy within the building sector
Who should the municipal architect be serving? Is it the politics of the moment – often shortsighted and populist – or should it be more lasting and democratic values? Gerard Reinmuth, outspoken principal of the Australian firm Terroir, invites you to a debate on architecture and politics.
Architecture affects us to our very core claims the Icelandic architect Hlédis Sveinsdottir. It controls how we feel, how we live, how we work. So each and every building presents a chance to improve the world.
The Swede Jonas Dahlberg never managed to realise his national memorial to the victims of Utöya island. But for the past two years there has been a landscape installation out on the island, designed by the architectural firm 3RW. Its creator, Sixten Rahiff, tells of the process behind the Clearing.
Daylight is hard currency at Nordic latitudes. Architect Lone Wiggers has researched into the positive effects daylight has on learning ability and health, and gives instances of projects where light and vegetation have been successfully integrated into the architecture.
What is meant by architecture and design? Is it stylish buildings and ingenious products, or is it social processes of vital importance for the nation’s and the citizens’ lives and welfare? Christer Larsson believe primarily in the latter. Based on his enquiries the Swedish government is now about to reach a decision on its new design policy.
You’re like the company you keep they say. But how influenced are we in fact by our surroundings? Can architecture and urban planning make you healty? Or sick? Or is it merely an insignificant background? A highly qualified panel diagnose the effects of factors both big and small.
How can one fuse resource awareness with financial efficiency to create social blossoming? After designing buildings and urban spaces in over 40 different countries, Julien De Smedt is now setting up shop in Stockholm. His starting point in every project is the local community and the history of a place.
When architect and environmental activist Páll Hjaltasson noticed that developments were moving in the wrong direction he took matters into his own hands. Here he describes his spell as Chairman of the Reykjavik Environment and Planning Board and asks the question, “What, in fact, did I achieve?”
Concrete suburbs. Their reputation is deplorable. Is it the architecture that is at fault? And, if so, can architects rescue the situation? A panel of international experience discuss ways that construction can eliminate these concerns.
If a country’s architecture is to flourish it needs a qualified exhibition platform. In Sweden this has long been lacking. ArkDes has experienced several troublesome years while at the same time in Denmark they have been building a new institution at the heart of Copenhagen. How are the Nordic architecture and design centres faring? Listen to four heads of such centres learning from each other.
At Umeå in northern Sweden there’s an eco-friendly car service station. It was up and running in 2000, is known as Green Zone, and when it opened Anders Nyqvist, the project’s technical director, expected that all similar stations would copy its example. This is not exactly what happened.
Urban planning is mostly characterised by thoughtfulness and good intentions. Yet the result is often unfriendly. Taking Copenhagen and the free-for-all Christiania as their starting point, the panel handles the question: should one control a town’s development or just let it go free?
Socially porous. That’s how Oana Bogdan describes her architecture. Her aim is to bring vitality and purpose to urban spaces, to the gaps between the buildings. To spread quality of life. No easy task.
Tredje Natur is a firm attracting attention for its work in the borderland between architecture and landscape architecture. Ole Schrøder’s and Flemming Rafn Thomsen’s ambition is to design inclusive environments each with their own distinctive character. A tricky balancing act?
The spaces inbetween, and the freedom to be found there, this has been the main focus for Sou Fujimoto’s firm since he started it in 2001. If you blend architecture and natural scenery, indoors and out, private and public, what modes of expression can it generate? Sou Fujimoto is here on a rare visit to Sweden.