Kjetil Thorsen Trædal
Embrace the Complexity
“Yes, we have to change.”
Meet Norwegian architect and co-founder of Snøhetta, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, who reflects upon the most relevant challenges that architecture faces today. Read more …
“Being located in this world, I have to believe in what we are doing and that this actually can contribute to change. Then, you have to walk the talk in the practices of this world and show that there is no contradiction between environmental good and sound buildings, beauty, and the complexity of societies.”
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen argues that sustainability is a vital issue but that it would be wrong to argue, for example, to stop engaging in new building projects.
“I love creation. But it’s the circumstances around that thinking of creation that we probably need to expand. More holistic, obviously. But also a little more careful.”
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (b. 1958) completed his architecture studies in Graz, Austria, in 1985 and co-founded Snøhetta in Oslo, Norway, in 1987. Since then, he has been instrumental in defining Snøhetta’s philosophy and growth into a transdisciplinary and global architecture and design practice, as well as major projects such as the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Le Monde Group Headquarters in Paris, Europe’s first underwater restaurant and the world’s northernmost energy-positive building, Powerhouse Brattørkaia.
For his work, he has been awarded the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, amongst others.
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen is a frequent lecturer, and from 2004 to 2008, he was a Professor of Architecture at the Institute of Experimental Architecture at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. In addition, he often acts as a jury member for international design and architecture competitions and awards, such as the Obel Award and Zumtobel Group Award. He became Commander of The Royal Norwegian Order of St.Olav in 2008, received an International Fellowship Honor from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), an Honorary Doctor from NTNU, Norway, and is an Honorary Member of the Norwegian Architects Association (NAL) since 2011.
Kjetil Thorsen Trædal was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in July 2023. The conversation took place in connection with the World Congress of Architects, UIA 2023, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Camera: David Schweiger
Edited by: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling. This film is supported by Dreyersfond and Fritz Hansen.
Becoming Paul McCarthy
On the influential and groundbreaking contemporary American artist