09 July 2018
09 July 2018
Henning Larsen, Hong Kong: Collaborative, Informed, Dynamic.
The Culture of Practice
Henning Larsen Architects is an international architecture company founded by Henning Larsen in 1959. Being Danish in its origin, the practice culture flows heavily from the largely Scandinavian notion of a totally flat, open and collaborative framework. This is essential to the firm’s design culture while its multiplicity of nationalities offers a huge frame of reference towards design schemes, which means that nothing is ever taken for granted.
“We are continually surprised by outcomes,” explains Elva Tang, Partner, Managing Director HLA HK. “Each project really is a dynamic summation of a collective effort guided by or curated by the office’s wealth of experience.”
The office layout is extremely open and gifted by the ever-changing views of the harbour it looks over. That all employees have ample space and light to work in the best possible conditions was a prerequisite. Claude (Partner, Design Director, HLA HK) being Danish has a keen eye for light, open working offices, thus glazing and room orientation was a concern.
The next, and possibly most important factor was having a communal pin-up area – there is a large magnetic gallery at one end of the office. “It gives us a space to track the progression of our projects and a space to critique the process. It’s really an essential area for us and one used regularly by many to get a break from the computer, make a model and actually also for the all-important Friday bar,” says Tang.
Each year they arrange a study trip. “It’s extremely important for us to escape the office together to go and look at work from others and discuss the future of how we want to develop schemes,” says Tang. As an office, they attract people who love what they do and are passionate about doing it very well. “In this way people that join are always given the outlet for their work and we really try to cultivate an environment that reflects each person’s design ethos in some way. We also have a lot of fun while doing it,” says Tang.
Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers