Snøhetta and the Art of Simplexity

On 20th October, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen from Snøhetta, the internationally renowned Norwegian architectural firm held a talk for the Norwegian Business Association (NBAS).
       Over 45 members and guests joined the luncheon held at Pan Pacific Orchard on Wednesday 20th October. During the presentation Mr Thorsen shared both Snøhetta’s approach to architecture and how their organizational style has been adapted to foster creativity.  All employees are encouraged to join in the creative process irrespective of their official roles. Instead of a traditional organizational chart Mr Thorsen emphasized the importance of connecting every employee to everyone else.  He also highlighted how Snøhetta’s Norwegian background and name is an asset when operating abroad signifying openness and transparency.
       Snøhetta has focused on cultural buildings and public spaces. They have designed unique developments such as the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera house, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Saudi Arabia, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London and the September 11th Memorial Pavilion in New York.
       Mr Thorsen shared his view that “ownership of the public space is important” and “that the task of a building is to represent past, present and future”.  Snøhetta are known for taking inspiration from their surroundings such as the way the Norwegian Opera house gently slopes into the fjord to emulate Norway’s coast. Snøhetta, according to Mr Thorsen, likes to focus on simplexity; “turning complex functions into simple solutions”.
       Mr Thorsen is visiting Singapore to participate as a speaker at the Forum during ArchiFest, organized by Singapore Institute of Architects.  There is also an exhibition at National Museum of Singapore of Contemporary Norwegian Architecture which is open from 20th October –to 3rd November.

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