Danish practice Henning Larsen was recently named as the 2019 recipient of the European Prize for Architecture, which is regarded as one of Europe's most prestigious architecture accolades. Awarded to the likes of Alessandro Mendini, Santiago Calatrava, Manuelle Gautrand, and Bjarke Ingels, the yearly prize recognizes practitioners whose work “embodies vision, commitment, and a profound respect for humanity and for the social and physical environment.” The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum jointly presented this year's prize.
Henning Larsen received the award for their long-time commitment to sustainability, artistry, and community-focused design. On top of that, receiving the 2019 prize coincides with the studio's 60th anniversary.
“Since the firm’s inception, the office has explored, and in many cases, invented the boundaries of design in its approach to create more sustainable, livable buildings, as well as thriving cities for the general public. They believe that architecture is a tool of democracy, building the framework in which we lead better lives,” said Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President and CEO of The Chicago Athenaeum, in a statement. “After Henning Larsen’s death in 2013, the firm is now run by an astute team of architects headed by Louis Becker and Mette Kynne Frandsen, who have taken the office to even greater heights of status and global renown.”
From the 1999 Malmö City Library in Sweden to the 2018 Eysturkommuna Town Hall in the Faroe Islands, “Henning Larsen’s projects have captured the imagination of people across the globe and have become instantly recognizable as symbols of the nations they represent. In this sense, they are icons that have become eternal,” Narkiewicz-Laine added.
Henning Larsen will be formally presented with the prize during a gala dinner at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on September 13. Also, an exhibition of the firm's work at the European Centre in Athens will open on the same day and be on display through October.
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