DANISH FIRM SCHMIDT HAMMER LASSEN ARCHITECTS JOINS PERKINS+WILL
Global architecture firm Perkins+Will has acquired Danish design firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen (SHL) Architects with the aim of encouraging its work in civic and cultural architecture and its commitment to sustainability. Founded by Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer and John F Lassen in 1986, the Scandinavian design studio includes a portfolio of sustainable cultural and civic buildings around Europe, including The Black Diamond, an extension of the Royal Library in Copenhagen and the ARoS Museum of Art in Aarhus, Denmark.Joining Perkins+Will now allows SHL to expand into new geographic markets, as well as growing its client base and engaging in more design research. “We want to be known as a company that is both design-driven and client-focused, as a firm that produces extraordinary designs and delivers them with extraordinary efficiency. Merging with Perkins+Will enables us to maintain this critical part of our identity while having the support, technology and reach of a much larger organisation,” said SHL’s CEO Bente Damgaard. “It’s a fantastic opportunity.”Perkins+Will’s global platform also provides a host of ben-efits to SHL’s international clients, Damgaard adds, as they now have all of the resources, talent and expertise – includ-ing research – they need within a single firm. This stream-lines collaboration, facilitates communication and ensures smooth project delivery.“Our firms share a clear mission.
Through architecture and design, we make a positive difference in the world and in the lives of others. We both believe strongly in the transformative, healing power of design to address some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. And we both thrive in a design culture that encour-ages collaboration,” disclosed Hammer.Perkins+Will’s CEO Phil Harrison said, “Part of what makes this partnership so special is that Perkins+Will and SHL share a common set of values: design excellence, sus-tainability, innovation and the highest level of client service. “We also maintain the same design ethos, believing that exceptional architecture is always democratic and in the service of the greater good. We’re compatible at every level.”SHL Architects will, in turn, reinforce the calibre of Perkins+Will’s design portfolio.A shared vision for architectural sustainability also con-nects the two firms, both contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and to the improvement of human and ecological health. The firms have designed hundreds of projects, collectively amounting to several hundred million square feet, that meet or surpass various international standards for Green building.Perkins+Will’s move of purchasing all the shares in SHL has also helped the studio secure its future.“We have been working in New Zealand, Australia, China, North America, Greenland, Iceland, the UK, all over the place, but we’re only 150 people,” said Schmidt. “It has been very demanding in many ways and we’re vulnerable.” “The bigger and more complex these projects become, the more management is required,” he said. “If we lose some competitions, then we are vulnerable, and we can’t secure our staff to be on board.”Perkins+Will has also recently acquired the branding, retail strategy and design consultancy Portland Design As-sociates, which is based in London but has a base and large presence in the Middle East