Blueprint Award for Architecture 2019
Nominated by our Judges, voted for by Blueprint readers
‘Snøhetta is a place that nobody is from, but anybody can go to,’ according to the Norwegian practice that has picked up this year’s Blueprint Award for Architecture.
The practice was set up in 1989 by Kjetil Thorsen in Norway and Craig Dykers in New York, ostensibly to work on the Egyptian Library of Alexandria competition. This collaboration also added in landscape designers, an art historian and an artist — and Snøhetta went on to win the competition. This unique collaborative inception was explored by Blueprint editor Johnny Tucker when he spoke to co-founder Craig Dykers for the filmed Blueprint Collaboration interviews at Arper series in 2017.
The practice’s output is diverse and the last decade has seen it producing such disparate projects as an exquisite wild reindeer-watching station in the wilds of Norway, the remodelling of Times Square in New York, replicating prehistoric caves — complete with caveman paintings — in Lascaux, France, and most recently a wildly dramatic underwater restaurant with a window out on to the sea floor on the Norwegian coast.
As well as architecture, the practice encompasses landscape, interiors, product design and graphic design. Still maintaining its transdisciplinary way of working, Snøhetta now has more than 240 staff from more than 30 different countries operating out of offices in Oslo, New York, San Francisco, Innsbruck, Paris, Hong Kong and Adelaide.
Leaving the last word to the practice: ‘Our 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.’
Reiser + Umemoto