Snøhetta (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈsnøːˌhɛtɑ]) began as a collaborative architectural and landscape workshop, and has remained true to its trans-disciplinary way of thinking since its inception. Founded by Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Christoph Kapeller and Craig Edward Dykers in 1989.
Their work strives to enhance our sense of surroundings, identity and relationship to others and the physical spaces we inhabit, whether feral or human-made. Museums, products, reindeer observatories, graphics, landscapes and dollhouses get the same care and attention to purpose.
Snøhetta is a place that nobody is from, but anyone can go to.
Snøhetta has received the World Architecture Award for the Library in Alexandria and the Oslo Opera House. In 2010, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen lead, along with other partners, Snøhetta’s work to be relevant and sustainable, as they were awarded the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, for projects of all sizes.
Their work is defined by their process and design methodology. Snøhetta’s working method practices a simultaneous exploration of traditional handicraft and cutting edge digital technology – a complementary relationship that drives their creative process.
When it comes to their design methodology they are focused on the cutting edge technology that allows them to stay at the forefront of design. At the core of the design studio is a state-of-the art modelling workshop equipped with 3D rapid prototyping capabilities and a large, programmable manufacturing robot. Alongside traditional woodworking machines, these tools enable rapid prototyping to become an integral part of the design process. Ideas can move seamlessly between analogue and digital worlds.
Workshops and tools can only go so far, since people drive the creative process. We use the expression “Singular in the plural” to emphasize the value of the individual and one’s interests in the performance of a group.
Rather than fitting an individual into the group’s philosophy, the individuals themselves define the dynamics of the group. Someone’s unique perspective, background, or personal interest such as music, dance or art can be valuable in informing the creative process. Further, their inclusive design approach means that certain conditions such as gender equality and a diversity of nationalities, ethnicities and ages are fundamental to their process.
[Do you want to keep up to date with new job opportunities with Architect-US Partner Companies like Snøhetta? Leave us your contact info here.]
Architect-US J1 Visa Participants
After finishing her Masters in Architecture at the University of Toronto in 2019, Diana Rosa Franco Camacho, was able to work at Snøhetta under the wings of Elaine Molinar, Tina Bonacci, and Nathan McRae. During her Job+J1 Visa Program Internship experience, she was able to dive into the “Singular in the Plural” mindset and see how top-notch architects collaborate and adhere to tight deadlines, while still providing the best experience for their clients. She has had nothing but great things to say about the experience, and Diana cites the experience as a career and life game changer.
[Let us take on the work of finding your dream job for you and join us today.]
As you scroll through the following three projects they have created, consider all of these design techniques and ideas they have implemented. Understand how new technology has influenced their design process and what they are able to achieve!
Snøhetta Selected Projects
In the tall pine forest of Northern Sweden, where the tricolored tree trunks stretch up to the soaring crowns, a new addition to the renowned Treehotel opened in January 2017. Hovering ten meters above the ground within the tree canopy, the Snøhetta-designed 7th room provides its guests with a breathtaking view of the Lapland treetops and the Lule River. With focus on the surrounding nature, the design features large windows, a netted terrace suspended above the forest floor, and a tree stretching up through the cabin. The boundaries between indoors and outdoors are blurred, making the cabin part of the forest.
The 7th room experience begins when approaching the cabin from the forest. Nearing the base of the tree, the view of the complete cabin gradually recedes as a sixth façade appears. This façade is the bottom of the cabin, where a 12 x 8-meter surface is covered with a large black and white print of trees reaching up into the sky. A staircase brings guests from the ground and up into the cabin, along with a small lift for transporting luggage.
Built as a traditional Nordic cabin, the wooden façade is clad with pine boards. The surface is burnt to create a dark and maintenance free façade. The indoor flooring is made from ash wood, while birch plywood is used for the interior walls. With complementing light, wooden furniture, the interior makes up a blonde Nordic contrast to the dark exterior.
Images by Snøhetta
The new Charles Library at Temple University has opened its doors for the start of the Fall 2019 semester. Sited at the intersection of two major pedestrian pathways, Polett Walk and Liacouras Walk, and at the nexus of Temple’s Main Campus, Charles Library anchors a new social and academic heart for the university’s diverse student body of over 39,000.
Woven into the fabric of North Philadelphia, the building sits just one block off of Broad Street, the connecting artery to the city. Within its dynamic urban context, Snøhetta’s design, developed in collaboration with Stantec, reinterprets the traditional typology of the research library as a repository for books, integrating the building with a diversity of collaborative and social learning spaces. And in offering more than double the amount of study spaces than its 1960s predecessor, Paley Library, the 220,000-square-foot Library anticipates welcoming over 5 million annual visitors.
Images by Snøhetta
The energy sector and building industry account for over 40% of global industry’s heat-trapping emissions combined. As the world’s population and the severity of the climate crisis continue to grow, precipitating global disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic, architects are challenged to work across industries to build more responsibly.
As part of the Powerhouse series, Powerhouse Telemark sets a new standard for the construction of environmentally sustainable buildings by reducing its yearly net energy consumption by 70% compared to similar new-construction offices, and by producing more energy than it will consume over its entire lifespan. Through standardized interior solutions and co-working spaces, tenants can scale their office spaces as needed, granting much needed flexibility in a global context where remote working solutions continue to increase in demand.
In obtaining the BREEAM Excellent certification as proof of their bold sustainability ambitions, Powerhouses stand as beacons of sustainable design not only in their local communities, but also function as models for how the world can embrace sustainable architecture and design at large in the future.
Just like its ambitious sister projects Powerhouse Kjørbo, Powerhouse Montessori and Powerhouse Brattørkaia, Powerhouse Telemark aspires to be model for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable architecture, while also challenging their conception of what their offices might look like in the post COVID-19 era.
Images by Snøhetta
Do not forget that we will be posting more work by Snøhetta in the coming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for more of their incredible work!! Every Friday we will be posting a new Featured Company, so join us again next week!