schmidt hammer lassen architects was founded in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1986 and employs today 150 staff. The group of partners includes senior partners Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer, John F. Lassen, Kim Holst Jensen and Kristian Lars Ahlmark, along with partners Chris Hardie and Rong Lu. In addition there are seven associate partners and seven associates. The day-to-day management of the practice is the responsibility of CEO, Bente Damgaard.
schmidt hammer lassen architects has established an international reputation for projects that interact with their urban context. The practice places particular emphasis on the use of natural light as an integral part of the design process. The functionality – meeting the specific needs of the users – is also key, as are all aspects of sustainability. Where possible, the practice will explore the vital relationship between art, design and architecture.
Common to all the practice’s work is a democratic approach to architecture which creates modern, open and multi-functional spaces that are consistent with schmidt hammer lassen architects’ ethical considerations – a building revolves around people and is not merely an architectonic shape. Architecture should be closely integrated with its surroundings, with close consideration of its functions and social context. schmidt hammer lassen architects designs buildings that are essentially open to the outside world.
The practice has a distinguished track record as designers of high-profile cultural buildings, such as art galleries, educational complexes and libraries. Recent projects include the University of Aberdeen New Library in Scotland, The Crystal in Copenhagen, the City of Westminster College in London, and a number of construction projects and master plans in China and Eastern Europe, with a total of approximately two million square metres currently under development.
In Scandinavia, schmidt hammer lassen architects is best known for the prestigious extension to the Royal Library – The Black Diamond, the ARoS Aarhus Museum of Art and the Cultural Centre of Greenland in Nuuk.