By Laura Craft, Jennifer McMaster, Robert Martin, Olivia Savio-Matev and Matthew Wells
“We are being hosted by Henning Larsen Architects, the Danish architectural firm that has developed the official MADE project brief. Henning Larsen is a global firm employing staff from a number of fields, including architects, engineers, sustainability experts, landscape architects and interior designers. This creates a strong and diverse knowledge base and helps us to gauge the real benefits of multidisciplinary design.
Henning Larsen has been very welcoming and we have quickly been integrated into its community. There is a very active atmosphere within the office and it seems as if every surface is used to showcase some form of model or drawing. Our team has been encouraged to work in a similar fashion and we have been granted access to the same resources as Henning Larsen staff, including large-scale printing plotters, digital fabrication machines, large studio space and room to work in the modelling workshop.
Working with Henning Larsen has been a fantastic experience. We have met several inspiring people with whom we all hope to collaborate in the future.
The office culture is slightly different to that of Australia. Everyone stops working at 12pm and sits down to lunch together in the cafeteria. This is a highlight of the day, and allows everyone to chat informally over a delicious and nutritious meal. Office hours are much more strictly observed. Most people are in the office by 9am and leave somewhere between 4.30 and 5pm. People work in a focused and diligent manner, and the office, although open plan, is fairly quiet.
The atmosphere is very social, with frequent staff events. Each week ends with Friday Bar at 4pm – a great opportunity to mingle with staff and interns. People are kept in the loop regarding office activities via an internal web page. This means many people have read about our design project and are curious to see how we are progressing.
During our first week at Henning Larsen, we were introduced to the project and provided with invaluable input from various Eurovision and Refshaleøen stakeholders, inspirational academics and specialists in various design fields.
Henning Larsen explained the project and design brief, and facilitated a site visit to Refshaleøen. The rest of the first week was allocated to various lectures, many of which were attended by Henning Larsen staff. The Head of Relations, Eurovision Song Contest 2014, introduced the Eurovision Song Contest, providing insight into Eurovision and Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Eurovision’s intentions for Copenhagen and relevant logistical information. The Project Architect for Refshaleøen Development introduced the site, presenting a brief history of Refshaleøen and provided insight into its future development. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation) delivered an invaluable presentation on the history of Copenhagen, as well as its current and future development. We were provided with a historian’s perspective on transforming industrial sites and Arup provided advice on reusing existing structures via reference projects and inspirational design ideas.”
Photo credit: Dorte Hermann, Henning Larsen Architects