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Indepth Arts News:

"The Architect's Studio: Henning Larsen"
1999-11-12 until 2000-02-27
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Humelbaek, , DK Denmark

The Louisiana Museum, in collaboration with the foundation Margot og Thorvald Dreyers Fond, has organised a series of exhibitions entitled The Architects Studio, conceived as studio exhibitions which - by focusing on some of the great pioneers of modern architecture, their formal concepts and working processes - will attempt a more comprehensive approach than that of the traditional architectural show. The upcoming exhibition will present the Danish architect Henning Larsen.

Henning Larsen is one of the most important architects of his generation. For many years he has influenced - and made significant contributions to - both the Danish and the international architectural scene. His most recent work is Christiansbro, including the headquarters of Unibank and housing, which opened in October 1999 in Christianshavn, Copenhagen. Henning Larsen won international acclaim and became widely known to the public with the design of the Foreign Ministry building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1979-1984). The Foreign Ministry building has been characterised by a leading English architecture critic as a turning point in 20th century world architecture.

The exhibition is set up as a studio exhibition, offering insight into the work processes characteristic of Henning Larsen and his studio. The intention is to shed light on his ability to capture the spirit of his time while maintaining a sense of continuity, and on the way in which he manages - by extracting the essence of the new - to translate it into a consistent and convincing architectural idiom, expressed in a contemporary and sophisticated formal language.

Analysis is a key-word in his working process. Openness and contextuality are others. His strength lies in simplification and in an uncompromising purity of form and function, evident in his use of simple, archetypical elements and themes such as the house-within-a-house, the internal street - and in his orchestration of daylight.

Many of Henning Larsens studio projects have been designed as entries in competitions, often a driving inspirational force in the studios development. It could be said that these projects have assumed the character of basic architectural research. Other driving forces have been experiences and inspiration gathered in connection with traveling and a fascination with local architectural references. All of these elements influenced the succeeding creative process and have been integrated into the working methods at Henning Larsens Studio.

The exhibition, designed specially for Louisianas galleries and set up to resemble a building-site is a presentation of current projects, showing experiments with materials, facade-mock-ups, slide and video projections, etc. The exhibition also includes scale models and photos documenting Henning Larsens extensive production. One section shows travel photos, architectural references and other inspirational source material.

The periodical SKALA, originally published by the Henning Larsen Studio, will be issued in an anthology on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. (Ed. Kjeld Vindum).

Recent Projects Henning Larsens recent works, besides the Christiansbro building project mentioned above, include: the addition to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen; Malmö Central Library; Project Tuborg Nord, Hellerup; Maersk Training Center, Svendborg; the addition to the university Roskilde Universitets Center; Kunsthalle Adolf Würth, Schwäbisch Hall. The coming winter will see the opening of the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen, as well as the NaturBornholm experiential center, Aakirkeby on the island of Bornholm.

Exhibition Catalogue For this exhibition, a Henning Larsen catalogue will be published in The Architects Studio series of catalogues. It features the articles The World of Space by architect and editor Kjeld Vindum and The Presence of Silence by Peter Davey, architecture critic and editor of The Architectural Review, as well as photos of selected works and a biography. Main sponsor of exhibitions at Louisiana: Nykredit.

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