This mini-documentary offers a new perspective on the relationship between architecture, people, and the environment, and reflects on the future of our cities with 3XN Architects, a practice noted for its innovative approach to architecture and major projects throughout the world.
Founded in Aarhus (Denmark) in 1986 by Kim Herforth Nielsen, 3XN Architects quickly gained international acclaim. With headquarters in Copenhagen and offices in Stockholm, Sydney, New York, and London, the design studio comprises a team of 140 architects from 20 countries. Professionals with diverse cultural and working backgrounds are at the heart of a practice that focuses on people, their creativity, and an ongoing commitment to innovative, sustainable and human-centric design solutions.
Central to 3XN Architects’ philosophy is the premise that architecture shapes people’s behavior. To support interaction and well-being, buildings are not self-referential, but places that create connections between individuals and re-establish better lifestyles in local communities. Projects aim to incorporate concepts such as design, function, sustainability, and context to deliver buildings that are more than the sum of their individual parts.
Innovative use of space, aesthetics which create a dialog with the surrounding landscape, and use of latest generation materials and technology are fundamental to 3XN Architects’ work. Mindful of ecological issues, in 2007 the firm established a Research & Development division, GXN Innovation – the G stands for ‘Green’ – which focuses on research into sustainable and environmentally aware construction solutions and how to create human-centered buildings. The knowledge from GXN has been put into practice in many of 3XN’s buildings, most recently Quay Quarter Tower and Sydney Fish Market in Sydney.
Integrating research and practice, by combining 3XN professionals and GXN innovation, has demonstrated that complex challenges often benefit from holistic yet simple solutions. As the lecture title, “Embracing Constraints”, concisely implies, the specific limitations of each project are an opportunity for innovation, a chance to introduce creative new ideas.
Kim Nielsen’s wealth of experience is widely recognized and acclaimed. He is often called upon to serve as a jury member for international architecture competitions, and lectures at art academies and universities throughout the world. He chaired the Architecture Committee at the Danish Arts Foundation from 2014 to 2018 and was co-Chair of Van Alen International Council. In addition to holding honorary positions at various academic institutions such as Aarhus School of Architecture and Delft University of Technology, he has also received some of the most prestigious awards including the Knights Cross of the Order of Dannebrog, conferred by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2000, and the CF Hansen Medal in 2009, the highest Danish award for architects.