Henning Larsen has been selected as this year’s Laureate of the European Prize for Architecture, one of Europe’s most prestigious architectural awards.
The prize has been awarded annually since 2010, recognizing architects whose work “embodies vision, commitment, and a profound respect for humanity and for the social and physical environment.” With this praise, Henning Larsen joins a distinguished list of recipients including Bjarke Ingels, Alessandro Mendini, Santiago Calatrava and Manuelle Gautrand. The award, jointly presented by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum, cited Henning Larsen’s commitment to sustainability, artistry and community-focused design as deciding factors in the award.
“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. “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.”
Referencing recent icons like the 2018 Eysturkommuna Town Hall and as historic projects such as the 1999 Malmö City Library, Sweden, Narkiewicz-Laine praised Henning Larsen’s use of architecture as a tool for democracy and well-being, balancing artistry with sustainability.
“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 said.
The 2019 European Prize for Architecture is the latest entry to Henning Larsen’s list of honors, which includes the 2012 Præmium Imperiale, the 2013 Mies van der Rohe Award for the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference center, and the 2015 Civic Trust Award for Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus, Denmark.
Henning Larsen will be formally recognized at a gala dinner held at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, on September 13th, 2019. An exhibition on Henning Larsen’s works will open on the same evening at the European Centre in Athens, and will continue through October.