2019 European Prize for Architecture to Henning Larsen Architects

John Hill
15. August 2019
Eystur Town Hall, 2018 (Photo: Nic Lehoux)

The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design have announced that Copenhagen's Henning Larsen Architects is this year's recipient of "Europe's Highest Award for Architecture."

The announcement says Henning Larsen Architects is deserving of the European Prize for Architecture for its "unique design approach that is based on human scale, paying strong attention to sustainability, livability, and ultimately social responsibility, while producing exemplarily strong and forceful buildings that ultimately shape the life of tomorrow with fortitude and great erudition."

Founded by Danish architect Henning Larsen in 1959, the firm is known for its continuation of the Scandinavian Modernist tradition, exemplified by a handful of projects spelled out in the announcement: Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1984); the Malmö (Sweden) City Library (1999); the Würth Art Gallery in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany (2000); Copenhagen Opera (2004); and the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Iceland (2011).

Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, 2011 (Photo: Nic Lehoux)

Larsen died in 2013 though the firm still carries his name — proudly so, per the announcement. Headed by partners Louis Becker and Mette Kynne Frandsen, the firm now boasts 300 employees in seven offices around the world, with a growing portfolio of international work beyond Denmark and other parts of Scandinavia.

Henning Larsen Architects' 2019 European Prize for Architecture follows previous recipients: Sergei Tchoban (2018, Germany), Manuelle Gautrand (2017, France), LAVA Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (2016, Germany), Santiago Calatrava (2015, Spain/Switzerland),  Alessandro Mendini (2014, Italy), TYIN Architects (2012, Norway), Marco Casagrande (2013, Finland), Graft Architects (2011, Germany), and Bjarke Ingels (2010, Denmark).

Henning Larsen Architects will receive the 2019 European Prize for Architecture at a formal ceremony and gala dinner at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on September 13, 2019.

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