As architects, we know that each day is new and must be explored. People’s dreams – about how they want to live their lives, how they pursue inspiration and education, and how they work – are constantly changing and evolving. Innovations in the way we think and act often arise because we are invited to inhabit spaces that are generous and offer opportunities for the unexpected to occur. Our architecture is these spaces.
We create cultural buildings with unique abilities to generate identity for people and cities. To us, it is about designing places that inspire visitors and where people also have the opportunity to inspire each other. These buildings give architecture, art, culture, history, and nature the opportunity to meet. We see this as an invitation to let the architecture vibrate with artistic audacity, life, and joy. A cultural building must be the optimal setting for artists, while also serving as a building for the community and a meeting place for all. We always approach these projects with a desire to design a setting that gives people the opportunity to experience the unexpected. One way we do this is by making parts of the buildings open to the public; this could be a rooftop terrace used as a sledding hill or a foyer where people practice yoga. In these spaces, people decide for themselves how the building can best be brought to life. In our work with museums, concert halls, libraries and conference centers, we have seen how they can also generate growth in urban areas struggling with economic slowdowns or poor urban planning. These cultural buildings play an important role in efforts to attract visitors. In this way, we can lift neighborhoods, whole cities, and even countries out of difficult circumstances and into the future.
We design master plans and urban spaces full of life, always resting on the shoulders of the local culture and its social rituals. Without this local rooting, cities cannot become places where people feel seen and understood. The planning and transformation of large urban areas has a decisive impact on the entire cycle of how we live, work and interact with each other. To us, it is always about shaping and situating urban spaces so they relate to the human scale. One must not feel overwhelmed or alienated in a city. We work to increase the cohesion of cities and to design lively communities that people want to live in or visit. That is why we also incorporate detailed weather data into our design process, creating healthy, climate-adapted outdoor spaces that promote public life. We work to create cities from the ground up and to regenerate urban spaces that formerly served other functions or never had the opportunity to develop. The desire to create the optimal setting for people’s lives is what always drives us.
We create the framework for tomorrow’s companies and workforce, designing buildings that challenge conventional thinking. As architects, we are acutely aware that companies need to be agile and depend on productivity and innovation. Employees of the future are also changing. Their work is more project-oriented and they increasingly choose workplaces whose values they can identify with. Therefore, our job as architects is to create settings that embrace the new reality of companies. We design buildings for attractive communities that are both robust and highly flexible. We seek to promote the best workflows and most effective knowledge sharing. This requires areas for focused work and for inspiring interaction, as well as spaces where the building opens up, and invites the surrounding city inside – thereby supporting the desire of leading companies to signal that they are welcoming and want to share. We strive to create livable spaces that companies and employees can identify with.
We create dynamic learning environments. Our schools, universities and technically-advanced research units are all designed on the principle of varied and active learning. There must be space for focused collective learning, zones for individual contemplation and areas where informal meetings can spontaneously occur. Research shows that a significant portion of learning at institutions of higher education arises through dialogue with other students. Therefore, the design of common areas in our educational projects has our utmost attention. Attractive atriums, staircases, and integrated outdoor spaces are important components of the buildings. Natural daylight is one of the most important factors to support learning, therefore, we always work with the modulation of this natural resource. Daylight increases the sense of being present in the moment and improves the ability to focus and perform. More and more educational institutions are also seeking to enhance contact with the city and community surrounding them. As architects, we can help achieve this by designing spaces that are open and flexible, where the business community, teachers, and students can exchange knowledge and experiences.