The firm announces promotions across two of its three offices, indicating a generational shift for a practice known around the world for its iconic, sustainable cultural and civic architecture.
With an eye toward future development and growth, acclaimed Danish architectural firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects strengthens its leadership group with the appointment of seven new partners. Trine Berthold, Bente Damgaard, Kasper Frandsen, Mads Kaltoft, Rasmus Kierkegaard, Tiago Pereira, and Nathan Smith join founding partners Bjarne Hammer, John Lassen, and Morten Schmidt, along with Kim Holst Jensen, Kristian Lars Ahlmark, Chris Hardie, and Rong Lu to form a robust new partner group.
The announcement comes three months after Schmidt Hammer Lassen joined international architecture and design firm Perkins+Will in a strategic partnership that expands Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s geographic reach, and adds world-class design research, advanced digital technology, and an even broader base of interdisciplinary talent to its arsenal of global resources.
Bjarne Hammer said,
“When Morten, John, and I established the firm 32 years ago, our vision was to create an internationally-recognised architectural studio known for high design with a strong Scandinavian ideology. We realised that vision with the help of an extraordinary group of architects and professionals, many of whom are now poised to lead the firm into the next generation. Now that we are part of Perkins+Will, we can aptly recognise their achievements, while also giving them new tools and resources needed to take the company to even greater heights.”
A diverse blend of world-class talent
Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s seven new partners bring a vast array of experiences and expertise to the firm’s leadership group.
Trine Berthold, whose career at Schmidt Hammer Lassen began in 2003, has been a key figure in the development of some of the studio’s most significant competition wins for cultural and civic projects, including Dokk1, the 35,600-square-metre public library that is Scandinavia’s largest, and represents a new generation of modern hybrid libraries. Berthold is known for her use of drawings as a tool for communication and development of architecture, and is active in guiding the next generation of architects. The Aarhus School of Architecture appointed her Vice Dean with a special focus on international partnerships, a position she held from 2014 to 2017.
Bente Damgaard joined Schmidt Hammer Lassen in 2004 as Chief Financial Officer, and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer the following year. In her new role as Partner and Managing Director, she will continue to oversee the business performance and strategic development of the practice. Her primary task is to maintain the firm’s position as one of Scandinavia’s leading international architectural studios, while managing a smooth integration with Perkins+Will where she is a member of both the Managing Director Group and the European Strategy Committee.
Kasper Frandsen is a talented, ambitious architect whose high design skills cultivated over his 18-year career at Schmidt Hammer Lassen is matched by his keen ability to inspire and guide the next generation of architects. As a generalist, Kasper has been instrumental in both the development of the firm’s healthcare portfolio and in the competition phase of a variety of projects domestically and abroad. He currently oversees the development of an all-timber office building extension in central Denmark, and the University of Bristol Library, an £80 million library development in southwest England. Kasper injects his strong belief in the human-centric approach at the heart of the practice’s Scandinavian design principles into each of his projects.
Mads Kaltoft is an experienced architect with a wide range of skills that span from conceptual design to fine details in construction work. The strength of his professional skills lies in his unwavering dedication to his trade paired with a holistic approach to architectural design. Since joining Schmidt Hammer Lassen in 2001, he has developed a distinct management style that combines creative dexterity with strategic ingenuity, and has led teams on projects located across Scandinavia and greater Europe. In a nod to his leadership, Mads was a lecturer at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture from 1998 to 2005.
Rasmus Kierkegaard has spent the last decade leading Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Concept Development department in Aarhus. He has a rich, diverse portfolio that includes the strategic conceptual development of complex cultural projects such as Vendsyssel Theatre, Denmark’s first newly built theatre in over a century outside of Copenhagen. Rasmus has worked with projects in a variety of cultural and geographical settings and has been heavily involved in architectural competitions of all types-from initial idea, to an expanded concept, and all the way to a final design. Quality, sustainability, and creative approach are the hallmarks of his work.
Tiago Pereira brought his international experience working in Holland, Portugal and Spain to Schmidt Hammer Lassen in 2006 and has since led the Concept Development department in Copenhagen. During his tenure, he has been responsible for the design of key projects such as Malmö Live, a 54,000-square-metre concert hall, conference centre and 400-room hotel complex in southern Sweden, and an 85,000-square-metre mixed-use complex in Boston, USA. Tiago was a visiting professor in the Architectural Engineering department at the Danish Technical University, and lectures regularly at international conferences, seminars and architectural events.
Nathan Smith, Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Chief Commercial Officer responsible for the firm’s global business development operation, joined the company in 2015 and, in the short time since then, has led the firm to new international markets including Australia and the United States. Nathan brings his dynamic leadership style to the firm’s executive board, where he sets international strategy. Educated in industrial design, Nathan has forged a career within business development and marketing for companies such as Bjarke Ingels Group, AECOM, EDAW and Reuters for more than 15 years.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen also promoted five architects to associate partner roles. They are Nuno Cruz, a project architect on the Monroe Blocks project in Detroit; Mads Engel, project development manager and director of the firm’s Copenhagen office; Masahiro Katsume, a seasoned architect with more than 35 years of global experience; René Nedergaard, design lead on projects in the U.S. and across Scandinavia; and Elif Tinaztepe, a recognised global leader in library design.
All new partner and associate partner appointments were effective 1 April 2018.