The vision of schmidt hammer lassen architects is to optimise the value of the user’s space.
The overall goal is to improve current standards for modern buildings by developing new methods and provide professional consultancy services in connection with innovative, sustainable and green solutions for the building industry. This vision also constitutes the core of the company’s CSR policy.
schmidt hammer lassen architects was founded in 1986 and is today one of the largest architectural firms in Scandinavia and the holder of many national and international awards . The company has offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, London and Shanghai and employs approximately 140 staff.
At schmidt hammer lassen architects, the approach to CSR is embedded in the architecture. Through its professional architectural work, the company has plenty of opportunity to explore new avenues and create significant change. In 2008, schmidt hammer lassen architects adopted the UN Global Compact, which today makes up the framework of the company’s CSR policy.
For a number of years, the company has developed specialised knowledge groups as part of its architectural vision to promote the development of sustainable construction. The knowledge groups are involved in professional networks, for example the expert group behind the new Danish sustainability certification standard, DGNB-DK. In addition, a number of key employees have been trained and certified in recognised, international certification schemes for sustainable construction: BREEAM, LEED, DGNB International and C2C.
The office building Krystallen (the Crystal) designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects for the company Nykredit is a successful example of energy conscious design. The building is a work of sleek glass geometry with a light, crystalline expression that floats over the square, anchored at a single point and in a single line. The construction is a combination of a completely transparent office building and an unusually low energy consumption of 70 kW/h per m2. Consequently the building uses 25% less energy than required by current legislation. The roof is covered by solar cells generating 80,000 kWh per year.
The building’s multi-faceted glass facade reflects both daylight and the immediate surroundings, and the double-glazed windows have built-in sun protection enabling the building to accommodate different light conditions. Additionally, the external surface of the windows is decorated with a discrete silk print that shields against the sun light while creating an airy atmosphere both indoors and outdoors.
Rainwater is collected and recycled, for example in the toilets in the buildings, while seawater is used for additional cooling. The building uses a hybrid ventilation system with night cooling. Natural ventilation is channelled through the double facade and out through the two skylights in the atrium, which serves to maintain optimum indoor temperatures and a healthy physical working environment for the approximately 300 employees.
The interior of the building meets the requirements of the workplace for functionality, flexibility and efficiency, as the layout of the floors provides opportunities for open plan offices, closed/private office cubicles or meeting rooms.
The building has been honoured with a LEAF Award and a European Steel Award, and in 2012 was nominated Building of the Year in the ‘Office Building’ category by one of the world’s largest architectural networks, ArchDaily.