Henning Larsen Architects: Building ambitions for society

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“Architecture is the opposite of the coca-cola-principle”. Meet creative director of Henning Larsen Architects, Louis Becker, for a talk about building globally with a scandinavian outset.

Louis Becker says that architecture is first and foremost about seeing things grow. With architecture your dreams become physical, Becker explains: “We are building our ambitions for society.” If architecture was separate from life and society, it would be an uninteresting form and space. To Henning Larsen Architects a building is always a manifestation of a concrete place and surrounding. The inside of a building, Becker states, must have a relation to the outside – there has to be a dialogue between the life and hope inside, and the city as a whole.

Architecture is also a merger of cultures and ideas – Scandinavian ideas of transparency, democracy and equal access affect the way Henning Larsen Architects approach architecture, but at the same time it is very important to think of what is necessary in the nature, culture and climate that you are working with: “When two different ways of seeing the world meet, that’s when something interesting happens.”

Becker explains these ideas in relation to two very different projects, one in Saudia Arabia and one in Iceland which was made in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson: The Harpa Concert Hall in Reyjavik received the prestigious EU Mies van der Rohe-award in 2013.

Louis Becker (b. 1962) is a Danish architect and Principal Partner at Henning Larsen Architects. In 2008 Becker was appointed Adjunct Professor at the Department of Architecture and Design at Aalborg University. In 2011 he received the Eckersberg Medal by the Academic Council, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts as a recognition of his achievements of putting Danish architecture on the world map.

Louis Becker was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner
Filmed by Jakob Solbakken
Edited by Martin Kogi
Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014
Supported by Nordea-fonden