Archive for ‘schmidt hammer lassen architects’

February 6, 2012

Sustainable LEED Gold Office Tower | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects has recently won the international architectural competition to design a 188 meter office tower in the financial district of central Warsaw, . The 60,000 m2 high-rise building is to replace the existing ‘Ilmet’ building and will stand out as a modern landmark clearly identifiable in the Warsaw skyline by its unique elegant shape and appearance. The Jury was impressed by the high quality and innovation evident in the urban, architectural and technical concepts of the winning design. The future building will offer a number of attractive public areas and serve to complement the project’s prominent setting, as well as the entire neighborhood.

Sustainability was an important issue as the building is designed to reduce energy consumption with the goal of qualifying for the highest levels of sustainability certifications as BREEAM Excellent or LEED Gold status.

The building consists of three individually stepped rectangular volumes with increasing heights towards the east. The façades create a subtle rhythm in the cityscape by slightly shifting inwards and outwards, and the inclined roof lines preserve optimal light conditions for the adjacent buildings.The design of the building offers a spatial coherence between roof and street level. The lobby at street level, with its spectacular shaped ceiling, corresponds with the sloping shapes of the rooftops, making the building perceive as a sculptural object.The open lobby allows the people of Warsaw to pass into and through the building, connecting the plaza and park in front of the building with the courtyards of the historical tenement houses to the south.The building is designed to reduce energy consumption with the goal of qualifying for the highest levels of sustainability certifications as BREEAM Excellent or LEED Gold status. The modular façade system with floor to ceiling glass elements, provide high levels of transparency as well as full integration of sun shading and light reflection shutters. The sloped rooftops are equipped with photovoltaic cells and elements for harvesting rainwater. The total sustainability approach is a combination of intelligent building management and minimizing technical installations by using passive elements.

September 25, 2011

The Crystal | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Location: Copenhagen, 
Client: Nykredit
Landscape Architect: SLA
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 6,850 sqm
Photographs: Adam Mørk

“Freestanding on the site, the building reads as a transparent, geometrical, glazed form which, resting only on a single point and a single line, floats as a visually light, crystalline structure above the plaza,” explained Partner Mr Kim Holst Jensen of schmidt hammer lassen architects. He continued: “The building and the plaza are designed to interact with each other and with the surrounding city.”

In terms of both form and scale, the building is intermediate between the city and the harbour, and harmonises with neighbouring buildings. On the southern side, it rises with reference to the gable apex of the “Elephant House” and creates space for the main entrance. From the corner of Puggardsgade and Hambrosgade, the passage under the building allows a clear view towards Nykredit’s head office building and the harbor.

The interior of the building complies with the demands for functionality, flexibility and efficiency. The typical floor plan is disposed in a Z-shape around two atria, ensuring that all workstations are well lit and enjoy a view. The disposition of the plan allows the accommodation of an open plan, separate offices or meeting rooms. The large three-dimensional steel structure constituting the building’s constructive system functions as an architectural element while at the same time freeing the building of columns, creating maximum flexibility in the office spaces.

The double-glazed façade has integrated solar screens and is decorated by a subtle silk screen frit design that mitigates solar ingress, reflects daylight, and gives the building a homogenous expression which enhances its sculptural form.
“The architectural idea of The Crystal’s design is inspired by the fascinating shapes of nature, the premises and the potential of the site,” said Kim Holst Jensen. “The building distinguishes itself from traditional commercial buildings by being a precise sculpture rising elegantly from the plaza underneath.”

The design team has brought a holistic approach to the environmental strategy underlying the project. The scheme manages to combine a completely transparent office building with an exceptionally low energy-consumption at 70 kWh per sqm, which means that the building consumes 25 per cent less energy than the requirements of the existing energy legislation. The roof is covered with highly efficient photovoltaic panels generating 80,000 kWh per year. In addition, the triple-layered inner  façade provides extremely effective thermal insulation, with a U-value of only 0.7 Wh per sqm.


June 27, 2011

June 6, 2011

Halifax Central Library | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Project: Halifax Central Library
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
The design for the new Halifax Central Library was revealed at the fifth public consultation meeting in Halifax, Canada. At this last public consultation meeting in the design phase of the Halifax Central Library the architects identified the trends from all four of the prior public meetings and showed how the building design has responded to the users’ ideas.

The 45 million Canadian dollars (€ 33 million) Central Library in the Canadian port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia will have a clear Canadian reference as well as a detectable Scandinavian design heritage as the winning team behind the design is the Canadian architectural practice Fowler Bauld & Mitchell and Danish schmidt hammer lassen architects. In March 2010, Fowler Bauld & Mitchell and schmidt hammer lassen architects won the international competition to design Halifax Central Library.

”In the design process we have been particular keen on reflecting the spirit of the local community as well as the ‘genus loci’ of the site making Halifax Central Library unique in many ways. We believe that Halifax Central Library will become a landmark cultural hub for the community,” said Morten Schmidt, Founding Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.

At this point, Fowler Bauld & Mitchell and schmidt hammer lassen architects enter four months of Design Development, with a final public presentation and unveiling of the final detail design in March/April 2011. Breaking ground is scheduled for mid 2011 and the library is due for completion in early 2014.

schmidt hammer lassen architects works with libraries across all scales from branch libraries and central libraries to university libraries. The practice is renowned for the extension of The Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has also designed Halmstad Library and the extension of Växjö Library in Sweden. Ongoing library projects include The University of Aberdeen New Library in Scotland, UK, The Urban Mediaspace, Scandinavia’s biggest public library, in Aarhus, Denmark and the new Highlands Library for Edmonton Public Libraries in Alberta, Canada.

June 5, 2011

ARoS Aarhus – Your rainbow panorama | Olafur Eliasson

Your rainbow panorama
Olafur Eliasson
A city is a cosmos, a site for social encounters and cohabitation.
A museum is a vision machine that challenges our senses, thoughts, and felt opinions.
The public, you, is a barometer of the world. You mould as much as you receive.
I think of Your rainbow panorama as a mediator that forges relations between these three: you, ARoS,
and the city of Aarhus. It is a vehicle for looking anew, which frames views and frames you as you
proceed through the seamless walkway of subtly transforming colour atmospheres. What you
experience may be of both panoramic scope and introspective quality – you may see yourself seeing.
Sometimes alone, mostly with others.
I see Your rainbow panorama as an orientation tool. Dividing Aarhus into colour zones, it has the
qualities of a lighthouse: it draws attention not only to itself, but also to your physical location in
Aarhus. For people living in the city and moving through the different times of day, the work becomes
a compass in time and space.
Imagine Your rainbow panorama as an instrument that tunes you – its user – so that your body is
transformed into a colour resonator. Enveloped in the rainbow environment, you produce afterimages
in hues complementary to the colours in the glass panes around you. If you look at the city through red
glass, your eyes develop a green afterimage. If you maintain a quick pace, the colours remain vibrant.
But if you pause in one colour zone, the hue around you grows pale while the colours in your
peripheral vision, where the walkway curves, intensify. Colour intensities depend on your speed.
The colour spectrum speaks to the museum collections below – to contemporary art as well as to the
works of, say, Karl Isakson, Olaf Rude, or Oluf Høst. These modernist painters were equally infatuated
with what colours say and do.
Colour intensifies reality at all times.
The circle of Your rainbow panorama complements the museum’s square plan exactly. These basic
geometric forms challenge each other in a friendly dialogue about spatial dimensions, movement, and
the passing of time. The continuous curve limits your view to about twenty meters ahead, revealing
one colour shade after the other. The intimacy created by this short distance is reflected back on the
moving bodies.
Think of Your rainbow panorama as an expectation machine. Even before entering ARoS and
ascending to the work, you may look upon the city as if through coloured glass. Your expected gaze.
What you know from the street then emerges from above as strangely real, in a continuous interplay of colour saturation and desaturation. Suspended between the city and the sky, this viewing platform
insists on your sensory engagement. You feel the view. Perhaps your memory of the art collections
below, through which you just made your way, infiltrate your experience.
Your rainbow panorama sits on top of a house of condensed meanings – contested, defended,
undone, and re-enacted – of cultural intentions, historical realities, visions, and revisions.
Museums will always be vision machines.
Visions for now and forever.



Olafur Eliasson’s Masterpiece

Your rainbow panorama
opens in ARoS, Denmark

On Friday 27 May 2011, a unique work of art, Your rainbow panorama, will officially open on the roof of the ARoS museum of art in Denmark. As from Saturday 28 May at 10am, there will be public access to this work, which is a donation from Realdania.It is the world-famous Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson who has created this permanent work of art in the form of a circular walkway 150 metres in extent and three metres wide made in glass in all the colours of the spectrum. The spectacular work of art has a diameter of 52 metres and is mounted on slender columns 3.5 metres above the roof surface of the museum.

Visitors to the museum will have access to this great work of art via stairs and lifts. They can take a stroll such as will delight the senses round this circular pathway, which will provide them with panoramic views of the surrounding city and Århus Bay. Beneath the “floating” work of art, the actual roof area and its c. 1500 square metres has been covered with wood, so the surface constitutes a unique recreational area and viewing platform for visitors to the museum fifty metres above street level.Your rainbow panorama will be visible from a great distance, and as you will see different colours according to where you are in the city, the work acts as a compass. At night, Your rainbow panorama is lit up from inside by spotlights embedded in the floor.

Olafur Eliasson describes the project in the following words:
“Your rainbow panorama enters into a dialogue with the existing architecture and reinforces what is assured beforehand, that is to say the view of the city. I have created a space which virtually erases the boundaries between inside and outside – where people become a little uncertain as to whether they have stepped into a work or into part of the museum. This uncertainty is important to me, as it encourages people to think and sense beyond the limits within which they are accustomed to moving”.Symbol of Aarhus

As a symbol representing art, the many-coloured halo hovers above the cubical building by schmidt/hammer/lassen architects and gives visual expression to the fact that the architectural concept of the ARoS building derives from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”: At the bottom the nine circles of Hell, the journey up from the Mount of Purgatory and finally, at the top, perfection in Paradise.

Subsequent to an international art competition in 2007, the task of transforming the roof of ARoS and completing the concept of the building was given to Olafur Eliasson. Among other things, the judges explained their choice of Your rainbow panorama by saying that this work would become a powerful identity-creating symbol for ARoS and the city of Aarhus and also a unique, artistic and architectonic landmark of international standing. The building of this extensive art project commenced in 2009, and summer 2010 saw the start of the installation of the now completed walkway. The work has cost 60 million kroner and has been financed by Realdania, while the cost of the roof terrace has been borne by Købmand Herman Sallings Fond. Aarhus Municipality is the authority responsible for the project.

Olafur Eliasson

The Danish/Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin. In 1995, he established the Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, from where, with a staff of some 45 architects, craftsmen and technicians, he creates new dialogues between art and its surroundings. Eliasson’s practice is characterised by his constant examinations of the relationship between space, sensing and body, and many of his works start out from natural elements such as air, light, ice or water. He trained in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in 1995 and achieved his international breakthrough with the exhibition The Weather Project in Tate Modern in 2003. Eliasson has carried out various projects in the public arena, including Green River, 1998, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007, London, designed together with the Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen, and The New York City Waterfalls in 2008. As a professor in the Universität der Künste Berlin, Eliasson founded a school called Institut für Raumexperimente in 2009.


To mark the opening of Your rainbow panorama, and with support from Realdania, ARoS is to publish a richly illustrated book on the project. Among its contents is an interview on the subject of this work with Olafur Eliasson together with a piece on it written by Professor Carsten Thau of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture and photographs recording the building process and the finished work. This book can be bought in the ARoS Shop after the opening ceremony.

Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson
photo © Olafur Eliasson

and from

‘your rainbow panorama’ by olafur eliasson, århus, denmark
image courtesy of studio olafur eliasson 

olafur eliasson‘s highly anticipated new installation ‘your rainbow panorama’ is now complete. set to open on may 28th,
the permanent elevated structure provides a 360º view of the city of århus, denmark. suspended between the city and the sky,
the viewing platform insists on the sensory engagement of those who enter it.

as designboom previously reported here and here, the continuously circular pathway sits on top of and proportionality
compliments the ARoS museum of art, designed by schmidt hammer lassen in 2007. measuring 150 meters around,
the transparent glass unit is designed to act as a visual compass for the city, its colors marking the physical location of
each visitor.

view from street
image courtesy of studio olafur eliasson

representing every color in the spectrum, the design looks to enter into a cohesive dialogue between the exiting architecture
and the surrounding city. virtually erasing the boundaries between indoors and out, the encompassing environment aims to
question the comfortable limits for which people are accustomed to moving.

image courtesy of studio olafur eliasson 

enveloped in the rainbow-like atmosphere, the user produces afterimages in hues complimentary to the colors that
surround them, altering and defining the perception of the city that lies below.

workers finish off the final details
image courtesy of studio olafur eliasson 

warm spectrum
image courtesy of studio olafur eliasson 

(left) inside viewing platform
(right) overall structure
images courtesy of 
ARoS / © ole hein pedersen

image courtesy of studio olafur eliasson 

(left) aerial view
(right) view from park

images courtesy of 
aros / © ole hein pedersen

the viewing deck sits above the low-lying structures within the city
image courtesy of studio olafur eliasson 

night view
image © ole hein pedersen

March 6, 2011

City of Westminster College, London |schmidt hammer lassen architects

roject Details:
Location: London – UK
Type: Educational – Public
Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects –
Client: City of Westminster College
Area: 24,000m²
Construction Sum: € 81 million excl. VAT
Competition: 2006, 1st prize in restricted international competition
Status: Construction period 2008 – 2010
Engineer: Buro Happold, United Kingdom
Landscape Architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Main Contractor: McLaren Construction Ltd
Other Consultants: Knight Frank LLP – Stace LLP

The new flagship Campus for City of Westminster College by schmidt hammer lassen architects is designed to support new ways of teaching and learning. The 24,000m2 College, won in a competition in 2006, provides much greater amounts of open learning spaces than typical colleges in the UK and holds state-of-the-art facilities for both students and staff. The building is designed to embrace interaction and diversity and allow students to learn from each other, both formally and informally.

The learning spaces of City of Westminster College are adaptable and flexible so that, in addition to the integrated technology, the students’ development is supported by the diverse architectural spaces of the very building they are in. It is a design which encourages new ways of teaching and learning.

The College is located in the heart of Central London at Paddington Green on the site of its previous building, an inefficient and failing 1960s block. The building has been designed from the inside-out, responding to the needs of the diverse groups who use the College, as well as taking into account the sensitive local context. It appears as a clean-cut, modern building with a distinct Scandinavian heritage. The building’s simple geometric forms rotate around a terraced atrium, creating a unifying yet flexible organisation.

The respective floor plans surrounding the atrium have visual connections from one floor to the other, making the atrium a dynamic centre and the heart of the College. The large atrium, which on some floors extends all the way to the façade, enhances the relationship between the inside and the outside. It offers light-filled, open and inclusive spaces which encourage the interaction between students.

To support connectivity with the local community, most public functions – including an exhibition area, a theatre and a café – are located adjacent to the main entrance before the security turnstiles. The choice of colours for the building is inspired by its context and by the change of the seasons, whilst the light timber panels lining the interior form a contrast to the exposed concrete surfaces and underline the Scandinavian design heritage.

The building is designed to be sustainable and energy efficient and the overall scheme will have a low maintenance liability, significantly reducing the building’s lifespan costs and carbon footprint.