A large crowd gathered Monday morning for the grand opening of our new office in Lower Manhattan, our first studio in North America. The ribbon fell at 8:38 A.M. EST, inaugurating our seventh global office and signaling the expansion of our Scandinavian-inspired architecture in North America.
In addition to the ribbon cutting by Her Royal Highness and opening remarks by Henning Larsen Design Principal Louis Becker and Danish Foreign Affairs Minister Anders Samuelsen, the event featured a panel discussion on the future of urban democratic design.
Moderated by architectural critic and Vanity Fair contributing editor Paul Goldberger, the panel invited architects, urban planners, and community development theorists to discuss how to design cities that foster democracy and sustainable growth. Titled “Designing Cities for Everyone: Can Inclusivity Spark Economic Growth?”, the discussion featured panelists such as Patricia Purcell of the UN Global Compact -- Cities Programme; Federico Negro, Head of Design at WeWork; David Belt, co-founder of Newlab; Susan S. Szenasy, Director of Design Innovation at Metropolis Magazine; and Louis Becker of Henning Larsen.
The hour-long discussion underlined our Nordic-rooted humanistic approach to architecture, focusing on how the built environment can guide communities to a more creative, social and democratic future. According to the UN’s Division for Sustainable Development Goals, more than 87% of Americans will live in urban areas by 2050 – In a future that is increasingly urban, our mission of designing for sustainable, community-focused growth and equitable economic development carries more relevance than ever.
“For more than 60 years, Henning Larsen has shaped lives through knowledge, research and a design-driven approach to architecture,” said Louis Becker, design principal and Henning Larsen partner. “With this event, we felt we underscored our expanding operations in North America to design civic and cultural buildings that provide long-lasting, positive effects not only for clients but for wider communities.”
Our New York City studio allows us to deepen our commitment to providing Scandinavian-inspired designs to a global audience. With six projects currently underway in North America, we look forward to continued developments in providing community-oriented design solutions for the urban environment.