Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects

Building Ambitions for Society

"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. ‘Harpa - Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland (2011)’ was a collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects and Batteriid Architects. Façade design and development:
Olafur Eliasson and Studio Olafur Eliasson in collaboration with Henning Larsen Architects.

Louis Becker was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner

Photographs by: Andreas Gehrke, Cordelia Ewerth, Åke E. Lindman, Nic Lehoux, Pedro Kok, Richard Bryant, Jørgen Weber, Jens Lindhe, Thomas Mølvig, Jesper Ray, Adam Mørk.
Camera:Jakob Solbakken
Edited by: Martin Kogi
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Clemens Setz

    When and Where I Write

    Austrian writer Clemens Setz says he is “very vulnerable” in the early hours of the morning and cuts off all incoming noise from the outside world. Those are “the perfect working hours” for him. Find out why in this short video.

  • Claudio Magris

    Europe and the Open Sea

    “The Mediterranean Sea is becoming a frontier and not a liquid bridge,” says Claudio Magris, leading cultural philosopher of our time. But the sea is many things: bearer of history, great discoveries and the love for his late wife.

  • William Kentridge

    on 'The Refusal of Time'

    How can we get a hold of time with our body and mind? This question is the crux of South African artist William Kentridge’s immersive installation ’The Refusal of Time.’ Join the artist for a detailed tour of his pulsing, breathtaking work.

  • Chigozie Obioma

    Everything We Do is Preordained

    Award-winning Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma calls his debut novel ‘The Fishermen’ “an Igbo version of a tragedy.” Meet the author and hear about his modern day metaphor of “the paradox that is Nigeria.”

  • Mette Winckelmann

    Woman to Woman

    ”You must evaluate whether the system you’re part of could be effectuated differently.” Meet artist Mette Winckelmann, who believes that abstract painting communicates deeper than language, and explore her visual take on gender politics.

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Jonas Hassen Khemiri

    On Facing the Blank Page

    For Swedish author and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri facing the blank page is always “a kind of revenge.” Hear why the acclaimed author – who has been praised by Joyce Carol Oates – considers starting anew as a chance to do even better.

  • Marina Abramović

    On Giacometti

    Marina Abramović has always felt a connection to the work of artist Alberto Giacometti: “It’s like a meteorite coming out of another galaxy where all the matter inside is condensed.” Watch her engage with Giacometti’s iconic sculptures.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Adam Caruso

    Novelty is nonsense

    "The European city is one of the great human inventions!” Adam Caruso advocates building with a deep sense of history and tradition. Meet the architect behind the award-winning Tate Britain conversion and numerous Gagosian galleries.

  • Thomas Hirschhorn

    A World of Collage

    Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn juxtaposes pixelated images from the media. His works are not about technology, says the artist: “I try to give form to what I can’t accept: that someone else can decide for me what I should do, see or think.”

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    On Donald Trump

    Jonathan Safran Foer, star of American literature, offers interesting views on America’s new president and the consequences Trump will have on American culture. "The place for literature may be even more important than before," he says.