Search
Close this search box.

admin

Celebrating NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week is a time of celebration and recognition, dedicated to honouring the rich history, vibrant cultures, and significant achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’, echoing the enduring flame of the First Nations and the richness of their cultures and heritage.

In celebrating NAIDOC Week we will share two current significant projects Steensen Varming has the pleasure of being a part of and which provide us an opportunity to reflect and learn from.

The Wiradjuri Tourism Centre, designed by Peter Stutchbury Architecture will be a display and interpretation facility for sacred Aboriginal carved trees and deliver a truly unique Aboriginal cultural experience.

The Indigenous Centre of Excellence at Western Sydney University, designed by Sarah Lynn Rees, Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (JCB), Peter Stutchbury Architecture and Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture, with Uncle Dean Kelly, Hill Thalis Architecture and Flux Consult, and located on Darug land, will be a dynamic space where culture, knowledge, and community come together. It will serve as a hub for celebrating Indigenous heritage and fostering understanding and provide opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to explore and learn about indigenous culture.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week Read More »

Palm Beach Headland’s becomes Australia’s first Urban Night Sky Place

Steensen Varming congratulates the Northern Beaches Council on achieving the designation of Palm Beach Headland as Australia’s first Urban Night Sky Place (UNSP), and notably the first in the Southern Hemisphere. This recognition by Dark Sky International is a testament to the council’s commitment to reducing artificial light pollution and preserving the natural night sky.

Steensen Varming, as the lighting consultant in this project, conducted an exhaustive lighting audit and crafted the Lighting Management Plan, a document that ensures the continued preservation of the headland’s dark skies. This comprehensive plan will safeguard the nocturnal environment of the 62-hectare site for future generations.

This initiative is a remarkable example of effective collaboration between the Northern Beaches Council, local community groups, and Ausgrid, showcasing the importance of integrating sustainable and environmentally friendly lighting practices within urban areas. By setting this benchmark, the project enhances the local environment and serves as an inspiring model for similar efforts worldwide.

For more details, please visit the Northern Beaches Council website.

Photo Credit: Ed Hurst (borrowed from darksky.org)

Palm Beach Headland’s becomes Australia’s first Urban Night Sky Place Read More »

NSW Parliament House Wins the Interiors and Objects Award in the 2024 National Trust Heritage Awards

Congratulations to the NSW Parliament House winning the Interiors and Objects award in this years National Trust Heritage awards with the NSW Parliament Chambers Restoration Project.

We are proud to have worked with Purcell and the wider team and have had a small contribution to this challenging project.

Legislative Council Chamber (LC) and the Legislative Assembly Chamber (LA) hold not only symbolic significance but also an exceptional degree  of architectural and heritage significance within one of the most historic precincts in Australia.

NSW Parliament House Wins the Interiors and Objects Award in the 2024 National Trust Heritage Awards Read More »

Steensen Varming finalist for the 2024 Sydney Business Awards

We are happy to share that Steensen Varming has been shortlisted as a finalist for the

We are happy to share that Steensen Varming has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2024 Sydney Business Awards for Excellence in Sustainability!

For 90 years, Steensen Varming has been committed to practices and projects that are sustainable and promote social good.

 

Our commitment is reflected in our B Corporation certification and our responsibility in meeting B Corp’s high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

We are thrilled to see our efforts recognised as we remain dedicated to continuous improvement in our global practices, to ensure our project work and internal practices support our clients, the profession, our communities and the environment.

for Excellence in Sustainability!

For 90 years, Steensen Varming has been committed to practices and projects that are sustainable and promote social good.

Our commitment is reflected in our B Corporation certification and our responsibility in meeting B Corp’s high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

We are thrilled to see our efforts recognised as we remain dedicated to continuous improvement in our global practices, to ensure our project work and internal practices support our clients, the profession, our communities and the environment.

Steensen Varming finalist for the 2024 Sydney Business Awards Read More »

Reflecting on Our Journey with the British Museum

Our collaboration with the British Museum since 2021 has been an incredible journey at Steensen Varming. Together, we have undertaken a variety of projects from engineering strategies to lighting design and sustainability initiatives, each one deepening our appreciation for this cultural institution and enabling mutual learning and growth.

Since our appointment by the British Museum, we have immersed ourselves in its world, delving into its history and infrastructure. Equally importantly, we have built connections with the people who uphold the museum’s operations, shaping our approach through close collaboration to ensure alignment with its vision.

Working with the Museum on various projects, we remain committed to sustainability, as exemplified through our work on the Energy Centre Programme, proposing innovative solutions like air-source and water-source heat pumps. We assist in preparing the Museum for the future through projects like the Western Range development feasibility studies and sustainability strategies. We apply our expertise in lighting design to enhance and preserve the display, the museum’s unique architecture and the visitor experience.

Above all, we are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something exceptional. At Steensen Varming, we operate on deeply rooted principles of human connection, unity, and fostering long-lasting connections. We don’t think of ourselves as mere consultants, but as partners, and we are privileged to play a role in maintaining the brilliance of this iconic institution for the future.

Reflecting on Our Journey with the British Museum Read More »

Celebrating B Corp Month: Looking forward to a brighter future

As we celebrate B Corp Month, we are proud to spotlight our collective impact. In March 2022, Steensen Varming achieved B Corp status, marking a significant milestone in our commitment to a higher standard of business practice.

Rooted in the design and construction sectors, we prioritize meeting strict criteria for social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, aiming to inspire others to follow suit.

Sustainability has always been at our core, seen in our focus on green building design and innovative solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of our projects and business practices. The carbon neutrality of our own operations is imminent through energy-efficient practices and carbon offset initiatives, aligning with our dedication to preserving the planet for future generations.

Additionally, we drive social impact through the mindful selection of the projects we work on, diversity promotion, community support, and advocating for fair labour practices. Our B Corp certification validates our commitment, ensuring our actions speak louder than words in a landscape rife with greenwashing.

As a relatively small yet global company, we face unique challenges. When it comes to aligning with B Corp criteria, our primary hurdle revolves around logistics and resource limitations compared to larger corporations. However, despite these perceived limitations, we adapt and drive change, relying on dedicated team members to spearhead these initiatives, making sure we not only talk the talk but also walk the walk, putting our commitment into action and would encourage businesses of all sizes to do the same.

Steensen Varming places significant emphasis on fostering togetherness, both within our teams and beyond. As a member of the global B Corp community, we are united in our efforts to drive integrity and a more sustainable future, championing lasting positive change.

Celebrating B Corp Month: Looking forward to a brighter future Read More »

Taronga Zoo shortlisted for the Darc Awards 2024

We are thrilled to announce that our project for the Taronga Zoo’s Nocturnal House has been shortlisted for the prestigious (d)arc lighting design awards this year!

Taronga Zoo’s Nocturnal House offers a unique chance to encounter some of Australia’s most elusive nocturnal creatures. Lighting plays an important role in the overall function of the area as the lighting is not only required to preserve animal welfare, but it also contributes to an engaging experience to guests, enhancing the aboriginal storytelling.

By simulating reverse day and night cycles, seasons and photoperiods that are thought to impact animal biocycles, our lighting design team has created an immersive experience and dramatic nighttime environment.

Significant time was spent one-to-one with the zookeepers, fine-tuning the aiming, lensing, and intensity of the spotlights, considering the visual field of the animals to minimise the impact on foraging, nesting, and breeding activities. As a result, a world-first tailored reverse circadian function was created in the Bluetooth control programming, to support animal welfare and cater for operational needs of the facility. The daylight simulation is programmed to finish for a consistent ‘wake-up’ time for the animals each day, allowing zookeepers to operate safely in the morning before guests arrive.

The Nocturnal House at Taronga Zoo is where the unique night-time fauna meets aboriginal story telling – As guests transition into the leafy forests and dappled light of dawn, leaf projections on the floor continue the narrative. The journey is completed by the flowing water and dawning light of the platypus pools and riverbanks.

All lighting designers are invited to vote, more information on this project and the (d)arc awards can be found here.

Taronga Zoo shortlisted for the Darc Awards 2024 Read More »

2023: A Year in Review

Steensen Varming thanks you for being a part of our story.

As our 90th anniversary year comes to a close, we reflect on the passing year and those that preceded it, shaping who we are today. We measure our accomplishments in quality rather than quantity, and are grateful to our brilliant team at Steensen Varming for not only upholding but surpassing the high standards we set for ourselves. We also extend thanks to our clients, collaborators and friends who have supported us over the years and greatly contributed to reaching this 90-year milestone.

As a global company, we hosted celebrations throughout the year in different locations, each celebration tailored to embrace the specific charms, history and connection of each location to our company. The first, held in Copenhagen, where our story began 90 years ago, was the most intimate, where the highlight was the many stories shared among some of the company’s oldest employees. Sydney’s celebration followed, a black tie event at the Sydney Opera House, the very project that brought us overseas to Australia. Closing our celebrations was the London event, held in the heart of Soho in a jazz club speakeasy, paying homage to our founder’s lifelong passion of music and early dreams of joining a jazz band.

To commemorate our 90th anniversary year, we’ve created a historical timeline, highlighting important projects and milestones over the years, showcasing parts of our journey from our inception to the present day. Despite occasional hardships, we take pride in the innovative spirit that surrounds us and our commitment to responsible action, always choosing what is right over what is easy.

“Looking Forward” are words that represent our 90th-anniversary year, connecting us to both our past and our future – a philosophy that has been maintained throughout our history. Now, we extend those words towards the future, looking forward to new challenges, opportunities and aspirations. As we close the chapter on our 90th year, we again express gratitude to all who have been part of our journey, and we look forward to continuing our story with you.

We end this year with a few words from our CEO, Dan Mackenzie, while wishing you all Happy Holidays and a good New year.

“It has indeed been a privilege to be part of Steensen Varming during the year of our 90th Anniversary. An anniversary notable not only for the longevity but also the consistency in remaining independent, maintaining our purpose and values of creating positive environments, focusing on quality, sustainability, and wider social benefit. All this whilst making sure we have a rewarding and fun approach to life. Every project is valued, but it’s the stories and relationships we’ve built along the way that are truly cherished. We enjoyed and shared stories at parties held in Copenhagen, London, and Sydney, all with different themes that honour elements of our history, that were shared by so many colleagues, clients, and collaborators past present and emerging. As we always have done, we are ‘Looking Forward’ to continuing to contribute, co-operate, support, delight, instigate change for the better and remain true to ourselves.”

 

2023: A Year in Review Read More »

90 Years of Looking Forward: The Sydney Opera House

By the 1970s Steensen Varming had expanded beyond European borders as the Sydney Opera House brought the company to Australia, where we left a lasting impact on this iconic landmark. Collaborating closely with Danish architect Jørn Utzon, Steensen Varming pushed boundaries of engineering excellence and sustainability while staying committed to aesthetic integrity.

By utilizing Sydney harbour’s plentiful water to provide cool air, we enabled the iconic silhouette to remain unit–free – a ground-breaking initiative on a world scale and at the largest system of its kind, making the Opera House a shining example of sustainable design.

Steensen Varming has since kept a close relationship with the Sydney Opera House and over the years been involved in various refurbishments and design projects, including the Lighting Masterplan which was endorsed by Utzon before his death, and most recently the Concert Hall refurbishment.

This year we celebrate Steensen Varming’s 90th anniversary and 50 years of practice in Australia. Aligning with the 50th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House, this serves as a remarkable milestone that highlights our shared history of innovation and collaboration, cementing our dedication to the Opera House’s continued success and preservation.

90 Years of Looking Forward: The Sydney Opera House Read More »

Our Anniversary Year Reaches the Halfway Mark

As we enter the second half of our 90th anniversary year, we continue to share our gratitude and celebrate this significant milestone with our valued friends and collaborators.  In just three days, we shall embark on a series of intimate celebrations, taking place in the various cities of our studio locations.

The first being in Copenhagen – celebrating with Steensen Varming’s close connections and previous employees, setting the tone for the series of events that will follow. Each offering unique opportunities for knowledge sharing, networking and inspiration.

While maintaining discretion regarding the specifics of these events, they truly embody the values that have guided us throughout our 90-year journey: integrity, expertise, and a commitment to excellence, values that continue to guide us as we look forward.

We hold great appreciation for the relationships we have built over the years and we believe these private gatherings will serve as a testament to fostering meaningful connections within our industry.

We are excited to share stories, exchange insights and further strengthen our relationships during these special occasions and eagerly anticipate the camaraderie and inspiration these events will bring.

Our Anniversary Year Reaches the Halfway Mark Read More »