With 30 years of experience, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is one of Scandinavia’s most recognized and award-winning architectural practices. Working out of studios located in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Shanghai and London, the firm provides skilled architectural services all over the world, with a distinguished track record as designers of international high-profile architecture. Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is deeply commited to the Nordic architectural traditions based on democracy, welfare, aesthetics, light, sustainability and social responsibility.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects was founded in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1986 by architects Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer and John F. Lassen. Today, the practice has grown substantially and employs 150 staff. The group of partners has also grown and now includes Senior Partners Kim Holst Jensen and Kristian Lars Ahlmark, Partners Chris Hardie and Rong Lu. In addition, there are six associate partners and seven associates. Day-to-day management of the practice is the responsibility of CEO Bente Damgaard. Its permanent staff consists of a dedicated, experienced and well-trained team of architects, landscape architects, planners, design engineers, draughtsmen, model makers, interior architects, multimedia designers, graphic artists and administrative staff.
Over time, the Schmidt Hammer Lassen team has learnt the importance of being physically present where it creates buildings. The firm has offices in Denmark, one in Shanghai and one in London, in addition to operating small offices on site. Schmidt Hammer Lassen does so, because the company believes in being present and solving day-to-day problems, including dealing with the local authorities, contractors, consultants and architects. Cultural and educational buildings, offices, commercial, retail and residential, often in mixed-use developments and complex urban contexts, are cornerstones of the firm's output. Most projects span every aspect of scale from interior design to concept plans and masterplans – from detailing, to urban development and landscape.
The practice has extensive global experience in the design of libraries and other public and cultural landmark buildings including the Katuaq Cultural Centre of Greenland in Nuuk (1997), the extension to the Royal Library in Copenhagen (1999), ARoS Museum of Art in Aarhus (2004), Halfiax Central Library in Canada (2015) and the largest public library in Scandinavia, Dokk1 in Aarhus (2015). Aside cultural buildings, Schmidt Hammer Lassen's works have a democratic approach to architecture creating modern, open and multi-functional spaces such as The International Criminal Court in The Hague (2016).
Schmidt Hammer Lassen prides itself on projects which interact with their urban context placing particular emphasis on the surroundings and social context like Malmö Live, a Concert/Congress/Hotel centre in Sweden (2015), Ningbo Home of Staff in China (under construction) and Christchurch Central Library in New Zealand (under construction). The practice's innovative, sustainable and democratic approach to architecture has attracted global attention, which is reflected in 100+ prestigious, national and international awards received through the years including the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture in Canada/ A+Award 2016/Årets Bygge 2016/Architectural Review MIPIM Future Project Awards 2015/World Green Design Product Award 2014/RIBA National Award 2013/RIAS Award 2013/ArchDaily Building of the Year Award 2011/LEAF Award 2011, to name but a few.
Address/ Europaplads, Århus, Denmark Area/ 30,000 m² above ground level and 30,000 m² subterranean parking Height/ 25 m Construction sum/ € 228 million excl. VAT Construction period/ 2011-2015 Competition year/ 2009 Competition type/ Restricted international Award/ 1st prize Architect/ schmidt hammer lassen architects Client/ The Municipality of Aarhus and Realdania Engineer/ Alectia Consulting Engineers Other consultants/ Bosch & Fjord Interior Design & Art, The Danish School of Librarians by Dr. art Henrik Jochumsen and Dr. art Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen Sustainability/ The library is equipped with 3,300 m2 of solar cells. The solar cell system will be integrated into the roof surface. By making Mediaspace an Energy Class 1 building Aarhus Municipality saves about €110,000 in operation costs, while sparing nature of an emission of approximately 282 t. of CO2 Urban Mediaspace will be Scandinavia’s largest public library and represents a new generation of modern hybrid libraries, which will contain multiple potentials. The building is situated at the mouth of the Aarhus River in one of the most prominent sites of the city centre of Aarhus. Urban Mediaspace is part of the ambitious district plan to revitalise the former industrial cargo docks on the harbour front by connecting the area both visually and physically to the historic centre of the city. The leading idea is a covered urban space. A large heptagonal slice hovers above a glazed prism, which is resting on a square of ice flake-shaped stairs fanning out to the edge of the sea. The ice flakes create wide plateaus and accommodate recreational activities and outdoor events. The heptagon will contain the media house administration and offices for rent. The glass building below is transparent and allows passers-by visual access to the activities in the building while the users have a 360 degree panoramic view from the inside. The library contains several divisions in staggered levels and cover a children’s theatre, interactive activities, DVD and games, books and magazines, public events, exhibitions, cafés and restaurants and hence they form an eventful promenade through the building. Below ground, the large parking area will be available to the whole city.
Size/ 110,000 m² Competition/ 2016, 1st prize, international competition Status/ To be completed in 2020 Client/ Shanghai Library/ Shanghai Pudong Government Structural Engineer/ Schlaich Bergermann Partner (Shanghai & Stuttgart) Climate & Environmental Engineer/ Transsolar (Munich) Mechanical & Electrical Engineer/ Buro Happold (Beijing & London) Facade Engineer/ Drees & Sommer (Shanghai & Stuttgart) Visuals/ Schmidt Hammer Lassen/ Beauty & the Bit/ Doug&Wolf The new 110,000 m² Shanghai Library will be located in Pudong District - the area of the city known for its iconic skyline, and will sit immediately next to Century Park –the largest park in the city spread over 140 hectares. The project is conceived as a singular monolithic object floating above the tree canopy within the park. The main library volume floats above two pavilions that will house a 1200 seat performance venue, exhibition and events space and a dedicated children’s library, that will all open up towards a series of landscaped courtyards and gardens. The library itself is organised around a grand central atrium in the form of three staggered reading rooms that open up and connect to various parts of the library and various contextual parts of the city from Century Park to the east, a new library park to the south and the city to the north and west.
Architect/ schmidt hammer lassen architects Client/ Municipality of Hjorring/ Realdania Construction Sum/ € 24 million ex. VAT Competition year/ 2013 Award/ 1st prize Status/ Opened January 2017 Landscape architect/ LIW Planning Aps Other consultants/ Gade & Mortensen Akustik A/S/ AIX Arkitekter AB/ Filippa Berglund, scenographer, architect maa The new 4,200 m² Vendsyssel Theatre is a unique, cultural axis for the citizens and visitors to Hjørring in Northern Jutland. The ambition for the new centre has been to create a building which blends into the surrounding environment while standing out as a new, vibrant organism in the city. The architectural and functional concept has five main themes: integration in the city, openness, functionality, flexibility and materiality. The result is a significant building which relates to its function in a pragmatic way.The dynamic and multifunctional complex includes four halls; Music hall (190 seats), Black Box (150), rehearsal hall and a large flexible hall with up to 430 seats that can be set to “in-the-round” theatre. The approach to the building’s design has been a pragmatic view of culture as an opportunity and experience for all. Therefore, space has been created for both scheduled and ad hoc events outside at the plaza, inside the foyer and on the grand staircase where visitors can choose to be spectator or even participate in the activities. We’ve designed emphasis on the interaction between artists and spectators. Inside, all the major halls can be opened to the foyer, the use of glass and windows in different rooms creates visual connections - and the great halls can also be opened towards the plaza outside. This way, the spectator or visitor gets insights and glimpses of life ‘backstage’ - and the performers can get a glimpse of the public from their lounge on the top level.