A number of young Danish architects have been awarded grants. And in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2015, and 2017, the Foundation has additionally organized international competitions in the fields of architectural photography, architectural drawing, writing about architecture, architecture and film, as well as architecture and music.
The objective of the non-profit, charitable Foundation is to support Danish architecture – through further training, traveling grants, exhibition activities, publication of architecture books, and development and implementation of information technology for architectural purposes. The Foundation awards grants in acknowledgement of architects who have developed significant buildings or demonstrated other achievements of high quality.
The Foundation is a natural extension of Henning Larsen’s personal interest in communicating and advancing architecture in parallel to his work as an architect and his professorship at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. This interest is also reflected in his establishment of SKALA architecture gallery and SKALA architecture magazine in the eighties.
The Board consists of:
Troels Troelsen, architect (Chairman)
Kent Martinussen, architect, CEO, Danish Architecture Centre
Ingela Larsson, Architect
Simon Ingvartsen, Architect
Bente Scavenius, Mag.art.
Lone Backe, MA, BA in Art History
Niels Bang, Lawyer
Oscar Wilde: “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realization of Utopias. ”
Henning Larsen was a curious architect. He was eager and ambitious, though not always explicit what he striving for. He probably did not know. Had he known, the attraction and magic would be missed.
The exciting thing about working in his design studio was precisely this openness to the unknown. Henning let things unfold in their own way, and was willing to pursue skewed paths to keep the process open. To him, architecture was a magic seed whose secrets were to be unraveled. Even when we achieved something unique, he desired other possibilities. Henning's curiosity was reflected in his numerous initiatives, such as the SKALA Gallery and SKALA Magazine and, most recently, in the annual Henning Larsen's Foundation prize.
It was as if Henning was dreaming of a Utopia.
The escalating progress of our time, more than ever, challenges our understanding of the world. On one hand, advances of science promise overwhelming possibilities that could inspire adventurous utopias with unexpected perspectives. On the other, automated design through algorithms and artificial intelligence (combined with the challenges and trend towards home workplaces and virtual collaboration) curbs both our professional presence and our universal vision. At the same time, acquisitions and unifications between architectural firms, contractors, and engineering firms are on the rise. Here, recent demands tend to require documentation of all the technical, scientific, sociological and environmental aspects of architecture - as if we were aiming for an architecture of spreadsheets.
How do we today maintain Architecture as an art not flooded with economic thinking, but developed through new ideas and experiments?
The aim of this competition is to revitalize the notion of “Utopia” in architecture. Modernism was, in some ways utopic, born from and driven by visions for a future not yet possible. It was also a future that mostly turned out differently, with countless new and overwhelming potentials both promising and frightening. One can miss the magnificent, utopian reveries of the 18th century and the modernist visions of early Soviet architecture. They held dreams of adventurous futures, things that could not yet and might never take place. Things that would change our lives and our worldview.
This competition calls for architectural, utopian visions. Ideas that, with artistic and poetic power, can inspire a new dimension and a new quality in architecture are sought.
The task: Describe in sketches and words a Utopia, a dream or mood with descents in spatial, architectural particulars
Contributions are to be made in drawing / photo with short explanatory texts in either Danish or English (submissions in other languages will not be considered.)
Analyses and theses are not asked for.
Entries must be submitted anonymously as a JPG or PDF, max. 4 low-format A3 pages or 1 low-format A1 poster.
Texts are limited to 1500 characters in total.
Previously published material will not be accepted.
The jury is comprised of Carsten Thau (philosopher), Jytte Rex (artist), Kathrin Susanna Gimmel (architect), Sebastian de la Cour (Ben & Sebastian artists) and Troels Troelsen (architect).
Proposals will be exhibited at the Danish Architecture Center at BLOX in Copenhagen.
The foundation awarded Danish architecture firm Leth & Gori on the occasion of the late founder's birthday.
Leth & Gori was founded in 2007 and their work centers around site-specific projects that address both the urban scale and individual buildings.
“The studio range far in its work, and in reality Leth & Gori is much more than a traditional architecture studio due to their particular way of working with architecture,” says Simon Ingvartsen, Design Director at Henning Larsen and jury member, about the motivation behind this year’s winners.
Alongside building up the internationally acclaimed studio, the two architects have also run “Absalongsgade 21B”, a gallery and exhibition space in Copenhagen, since 2011. Additionally, both teach at the Architecture School at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
“The many ways in which Leth & Gori work with architecture; as practicing architects, curators, communicators and teachers, testifies to an understanding of and perspective on the role of the architect as one whose main purpose is to create generous spaces for people and for something, and where architecture as a medium is unrestricted,” says Simon Ingvartsen.
“In the Henning Larsen Foundation, we haven’t been able to ignore the similarities between Leth & Gori and the practices of Henning Larsen himself; running a studio, a gallery (SKALA) and teaching,” added Ingvartsen. In a time where specialization and growth are in demand, but, unfortunately, also contributes to creating distance between practice, teaching, research and communication, the breadth and curiosity from which Leth & Gori’s work take its departure serve as inspiration for many, which the foundation wishes to honor and appreciation through this year’s award.”
Read the full news story here.
The Henning Larsen Foundation has, over the years, recognized many great talents in design and architecture.
Josephine Michau, CAFx, Copenhagen Architecture Festival
International Competition about Architecture and Music
1st Prize: Cristian Vogle: "The Bell Tower Seed"
2nd Prize: Jakob Draminsky Højmark: "Yakushiji III"
3rd Prize: Henrik José: "Swirley Bokeh"
Listen to the compositions
Architect Bente Lange
Praksis Architects, Mette Tony and Mads Bjørn Hansen
International Competition about Architecture and Film
1st Prize: Cole Phoenix
2nd Prize: Sam Renseiw
3rd Prize: Barbara Bohr and Agapi Triantafillidis
Architect Johnny Svendborg
Architect Merete Lind Mikkelsen
Architect Mette Lange
Landscape architect Marianne Levinsen
Architect Hans Peter Hagens
International Competition for Writing about Architecture
1st Prize: Nathan Romero Muelas
2nd Prize: Daniel Persson
3rd Prize: Sanne Flyvbjerg
3rd Prize: Mette Marie Kallehauge
3rd Prize: Tinne Delfs
Journalist Henrik Sten Møller
Architect Kjeld Kjeldsen
Architectural photographer Jens Lindhe
Architect Theo Berg
International Competition about Drawing Architecture
1st Prize: Robert Müller, Austria
2nd Prize: Julian Busch, Germany
3rd Prize: Julie Huang Jahn, Denmark
3rd Prize: Barnabas Wetton and Chris Thurlbourne, Denmark
3rd Prize: Clemens Helmke and Dorothée Billard, Germany
International Competition for Photographing Architecture
No 1st Prize winner
2nd Prize: Michael Stefan Rathje-Sørensen, Denmark
2nd Prize: Ditz Fejer, Austria
3rd Prize: Nils Lund Pedersen, Denmark
Honorary mention: Lars Gundersen, Denmark
Honorary mention: Casper Balslev and Mads Nissen, Denmark
Artist Jytte Rex
Studio Force4: Andreas Lauesen, Christian Dalsdorf, Maja Asaa and Mikala Holme Samsøe
Studio Kollision: Andreas Lykke-Olesen, Tobias Løssing and Rune Nielsen
Architect Kent Martinussen
Film director Nils Vest
Architect Julien De Smedt
Architect Dorte Mandrup-Poulsen
Architect Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup
Architect Bjarke Ingels