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90 Years of Looking Forward: Our First Commission

Vast changes have taken place since our foundation in 1933, but to appreciate how far we’ve come we want to look back at the history and philosophy which we were built upon and have since developed.

90 Years ago, in 1933, Steensen Varming was looking forward to working on our very first commission – the University of Copenhagen’s Library.

The engineering landspace in Denmark at the time was scarce, especially when it came to engineers specializing in Building Services. Steensen Varming‘s founding fathers, Jørgen Varming and Niels Steensen were but number 31 and 32 on the members list of the ‘Association of Consulting Engineers’ in Denmark at the time which consisted of Structural, Chemical and Civil Engineers, with very few if any other Building Services members.

Initially engineers were never involved in the design of the building outer skin, its fenestration, or shading; and the tertiary education of architects did not extend to such matters as heating, ventilating, or plumbing. Steensen & Varming being experienced tradesmen with further technical education were able to offer a large scope of work in these early days which included civil, structural, and building services engineering and design in close cooperation with architects.

With the increasing need for experts within the trade and the duo‘s strong network of architects, and their ability to integrate services as part of the architecture, our first project was quickly followed by other, no less high profile commissions.