Architect Søren Pihlmann: “We embrace what’s already there.” | Louisiana Channel

“What is behind the layers?”

Meet one of the rising and most promising stars on the architectural scene – Copenhagen-based Søren Pihlmann. He believes in building simply and with materials that are already present.

“There is an honesty to raw materials. Building simple, using as few resources as possible, but doing it precisely and with absolute care, this has been the driving force for us and continues to be the inspiring source of our practice.”

Travelling through Copenhagen and other cities worldwide, Pihlmann often asked himself why contemporary buildings look like they were all done by the same architect and developer. To him, the idea of starting from scratch and at an empty building site is nonsense. “We embrace what’s already there, and then we look for potentials.”

According to Pihlmann, the role of the architect has to change – from being a designer to being a curator:

“In the beginning, we spent very few hours analysing and measuring the existing structures and many hours at the drawing table afterwards coming up with ideas. But over the years, we are spending more and more time in this initial phase of just trying to understand what we already have and spending fewer hours actually coming up with an idea. To me, it says a lot about understanding the existing structures and materials because as more we understand it in detail, the more natural the architecture just arrives from it.”

“Picking things out, analysing things, bringing them together. And this doesn’t mean it merely has to be within the scope or field of architecture. That’s also its quality. As an architect, you can work on a huge scale, from social interactions and developing a city to the very material and how you cultivate it. And if you manage to combine this span, then it starts to be interesting.”

Pihlmann Architects is a young architecture office based in Copenhagen. It believes that architectural quality is fluid and connects functional and aesthetical matters with economic, political, geological, social, and cultural issues. Thus, it reflects a wide range of societal questions.

Søren Pihlmann was born and raised in East Jutland. He later moved to Copenhagen to study architecture at The Royal Danish Academy. Søren Pihlmann established his first office, Lenschow & Pihlmann, in 2014 and Pihlmann Architects in 2021. As director and creative lead, he has been involved throughout every aspect of architecture, and he has experience ranging from concept development and sketching to execution and project management. His projects range from pavilions and housing to progressive transformations and cultural institutions. With an open-minded and curious approach, he explores architectural possibilities within reused, affordable, and standardised materials, assembling and combining them in search of their immanent potential.

Søren Pihlmann has been awarded various grants and awards over the years, including the Danish Wood Award, the Architectural Review-Emerging Architecture Awards, and The Dreyer Foundation Honorary Award, among others. Most recently, in 2022, he was awarded The Henning Larsen Foundation Honorary Award. Søren Pihlmann has been part of several international publications throughout his career, including ‘Connectedness – An Incomplete Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene’, created in tandem with the Venice Biennale in 2021. In spring 2023, his work will be on display at the Utzon Center ‘Craftsmanship’ exhibition in Aalborg, at ‘Objets Trouves’ at Cité de l’Architecture in Paris, and ‘So Danish’ at the Danish Architecture Center.

Søren Pihlmann was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in March 2023. The interview took place at his studio on Refshaleøen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Camera: Simon Weyhe
Edited by: Helle Pagter
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023

Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling. This film is supported by Dreyersfond.

#SørenPihlmann #architect #architecture

Subscribe to our channel for more videos on architecture:




Save This Post
ClosePlease login