Scandinavian collaborative architectural and landscape workshop, Snøhetta, recently expanded their practice to Australia – not in Sydney, not in Melbourne, but Adelaide!
February 13th, 2017
It’s been almost 30 years since Snøhetta’s Norwegian founding partners established their first office in Oslo. The choice of location was certainly logical, but following the architectural practice’s inaugural commission to reconceive the Alexandria Library in Egypt, its ‘small town’ base was suddenly called into question. Unsurprisingly, there were those who thought one of the bigger European cities would have been a more appropriate place for such a globally focused firm to be operating, especially considering the significance of its growing portfolio.
Those same commentators were probably just as bemused when the practice established a studio in Innsbruck and most recently (and, quite possibly, most unexpectedly) Adelaide. Although Snøhetta’s second office is in New York and it now also has studios in San Francisco and Stockholm, it’s become a hallmark of the brand to set up shop in traditionally overlooked locations. Their choice to work out of ‘under utilised’ cities in the regions in which they operate has been necessitated by major commissions in each locale, while the studios’ resulting growth has been an organic process, sustained by active, thriving markets that want what Snøhetta does.
For the practice’s Managing Director Australasia architect Kåre Krokene, who is based in Adelaide, the impetus to establish a studio in the South Australian capital gained traction off Snøhetta’s first Australian project, UniSA Great Hall (in partnership with JamFactory and Adelaide-based JPE Design Studio). As he explains, “We’ve had some really good momentum come out of that process and we saw this as an interesting opportunity to formally set up a studio.”
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