On November 14th, a lecture series featuring new and up and coming Danish architects, as curated by Jacob van Rijs, will begin at TU Delft. As a visiting professor, Jacob was asked to choose a highly relevant topic for the annual Capita Select Lecture Series. It seems that Denmark has replaced the Netherlands as the hippest country in the world for architecture. The series will kick off with Boris Brorman Jensen of the Aarhus School of Architecture, followed by Dan Stubbergaard (COBE). Further lectures will include Martin Krogh (Adept), Jacob Kurek (Henning Larsen Architects), Kristian Ahlmak (Schmidt Hammer Larssen Architects), Kim Herforth Nielsen (3xN), Lene Tranberg (Lundgaard & Tranberg) and Julien de Smedt (JDS).
It is not entirely coincidental that the Danes seem currently to occupy the precise position in the world that Dutch architecture did fifteen years ago. Many of the architects in the lecture series readily admit to being inspired by Dutch architecture, and some were even trained or had internships at Dutch offices such as MVRDV, OMA and Neutelings Reidijk, all of whom made their name in the golden age of Dutch architecture, the 90s.
"What we had then, is now underway in Denmark. Its very inspiring" says Jacob. He sees clear similarities in the conceptual and even anti-modernist approach to architectural problems. "Copy & paste - and sometimes even better" is the way that Winy Maas describes the phenomenon, "but that it is only meant teasingly " assures Jacob. The boom in Danish architecture has yielded many spectacular designs in particular in Copenhagen and Aarhus. There are also differences: the work of the leading young Danish firms is considered somewhat lighter and less committed, perhaps as result of a more globalised world.
Dutch architects also benefit from cross-fertilization. Increasingly, there is cooperation on projects in Denmark. The Danish government has in recent years established a solid architectural policy , partly modeled on that of the Netherlands. "It is less restrictive than Dutch policies have become." says Jacob. "The architect has a lot of say, you get a lot of freedom [in Denmark]." While there are sometimes extreme demands for European tenders in the Netherlands - for example, offices with no previous experience doing so are not elible to design a school - opportunities for young offices exist in abundance in Denmark. MVRDV has been active in various places in Denmark, including the Rockmagneten rock music museum with COBE in Roskilde.
November 14th: Boris Brorman Jensen (Aarhus School of Architecture) and Dan Stubbergaard (COBE)
November 21st: Martin Krogh (Adept) en Jacob Kurek (Henning Larsen Architects)
November 28th: Kristian Ahlmak (Schmidt Hammer Larssen Architects) en Kim Herforth Nielsen (3xN)
December 12th: Lene Tranberg (Lundgaard & Tranberg) en Julien de Smedt (JDS Architects)
Location: BK City, Faculty of Architecture,TU Delft, Julianalaan 132-134, 2628 BL, Delft