Copenhagen celebrations

On Thursday 21 November we celebrated our 80th anniversary in Copenhagen at Danish Architecture Centre in the pleasant company of friends, clients and colleagues from our global studios.

Guests were greeted by Bach’s solo suites for cello played by Estera Rajnicka and had the opportunity to view the centre’s autumn exhibition Greenland – Head for the centre of the world as well as Steensen Varming’s own contribution in the Danish Design at the House exhibition which formed part of the Sydney Opera House 40th anniversary celebrations in October 2013.

Speeches capturing a reflection of the past, future and present of Steensen Varming were held by CEO Dan Mackenzie, designer and grandson of founder Jørgen Varming, Søren Varming and senior mechanical engineer, Tommi Haferbier Nielsen.

After eight decades of supporting an exceptional cast of internationally influential architects and buildings, Steensen Varming will continue to integrate global expertise with local knowledge and support projects in research, education and art with Danish design as an important basis of our history and way of thinking.

See more photos from the event

Sydney Opera House goes blue for diabetes

November 14th is World Diabetes Day. What better way to raise the awareness of the condition than to adorn one of the world’s most iconic buildings in a wash of blue, the international colour for diabetes awareness? Steensen Varming is, once again, proud to have contributed to a good cause by casting light.

Danish Design at the House launch

Friday night the Opera House launched the Danish Design at the House exhibition as part of its 40th Anniversary celebrations, transforming the Western Foyer into a series of installations inspired by the sparse, elegant modernism of Danish design. We were very honoured to meet Denmark’s Crown Prince Couple, HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary and explain the approach and way of thinking behind the building design enabling this iconic building.

Above: CEO Dan Mackenzie and Søren Varming, designer of Steensen Varming’s exhibition display and grandson of co-founder, Jørgen Varming, with HRH Crown Princess Mary.

More photos from Danish Design at the House

IESNA Award of Excellence

Steensen Varming are very honoured to have been awarded the IES North America Lighting Design Award of Excellence 2013 for our work on Kings Avenue Overpass as the only Australian project from a selection of around 400 projects around the world.

Kings Avenue Overpass is a significant piece of urban and traffic infrastructure in Canberra with an indirect underpass lighting system and programmable led façade lighting. It has significantly improved safety for motorists and pedestrians

Read more about the Kings Avenue Overpass project

Danish Design at the House

Steensen Varming are participating in Danish Design at the House, a conceptual exhibition to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Sydney Opera House and the role Danish Design has had in enabling this iconic building. We show how this happens ‘behind the scenes’ through intelligent, valuable and elegant building design solutions that seamlessly merges into the whole. The original air-conditioning system was developed using water from the harbour, saving wasted energy and avoiding the visual impact of cooling towers which was a truly innovative solution, even by today’s standards. The knowledge of the complex engineering systems and an understanding of the inter-relations enable the adaption of the building for future needs consistent with Utzon’s vision. We also describe how the principles of Danish Design are deeply embedded in our approach and task as engineers, from enabling the perception of materials to the feelings of joy and pleasure influenced by the built environment.

Danish Design at the House is open to the public, free of charge, from 25 October – 11 November 2013.

Read more about the exhibition here

Auckland Art Gallery World Building of the Year

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki has been announced World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival 2013 in Singapore. We are very pleased to have been part of this project in collaboration with Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp
and Archimedia, having created the specialist lighting design for all public areas and galleries as well as the landscape lighting design.

Read more about the Auckland Art Gallery and our work here.

Steensen Varming wins Engineering Excellence Award

This year’s Engineering Excellence Awards Sydney was held on 20 September at The Star Event Centre. Out of six finalists Steensen Varming was announced the winner in the Environment & Heritage category for the Eucalyptus Woodland Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (EucFACE) project in collaboration with University of Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment.

The project aims at assessing the impact of climate change on Australia’s land and water resources and assisting the nation to adapt to a carbon-constrained economy. Steensen Varming met the challenge from an engineering perspective of providing variable levels of CO2 to the research area whilst minimising any additional physical impact on the project site. The elegant solution integrates science, structure and services – a world leading engineering outcome for a research facility of this nature.

We now look forward to participating in the National Awards which will be held on 20 November 2013.

Read more about the EucFACE project here

Steensen Varming Proudly Sponsor MADE

Steensen Varming proudly sponsor MADE, the Multidisciplinary Australian Danish Exchange by Sydney Opera House.

Honouring the 40th Anniversary of the Opera House and the special relations between Australia and Denmark, the programme promotes international and cross-disciplinary interaction between students of engineering, architecture and design (of the built environment). As well as offering a valuable educational and cultural experiencefor Australian and Danish students, the program will strengthen the cultural and professional links between the two countries that began with Jørn Utzon’s visionary design of the Opera House.

The curriculum will include placement at various engineering and/or architecture firms, including Henning Larsen Architects, to work in a collaborative team on a multidisciplinary project, visit to a performing arts or cultural centre, visit to other significant works of architecture, including works by Jørn Utzon and completion of a collaborative multidisciplinary project designed around the Utzon Design Principles.

Sydney Opera House brought Steensen Varming to Australia and we have been involved in its systems design and maintenance since. We have always held a fundamental belief that a strong vision, supported through an integrated design process, is the key to intelligent, valuable and elegant solutions. Our support of MADE aims to encourage collaborative processes and behaviours, not only in the students themselves, but also in academia and professional practices.

Applications are open until 1 October 2013. The successful Australian applicants will be announced on 25 October 2013, as part of the Opera House 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

Further details on MADE and applications

Steensen Varming’s new identity.

For the anniversary of the company we created a redesign that builds on our Danish Modern heritage. The photographic simplicity and detailed typeface combine with the grid and colour system to create a sharp, simple and contemporary corporate identity. The colour system manifests in a circle, a representation of Reyner Banham’s seminal work ‘Architecture of the Well Tempered Environment’ that Steensen Varming reprinted as part of an ongoing commitment to the education and collaboration of engineers and architects. Each colour represents our key disciplines: mechanical engineering, lighting design, sustainable design, electrical engineering and a combination of these, building services. It also draws on the use of colour in built systems, and the now ancient practice of colouring the edge bind of paper drawing sets.

The Steensen Varming custom fonts are an integral part of the rebrand – from the letters that appear in the logotype, to the text you are reading on this website – that ensure a distinct typographic identity and consistent company image. Design details such as the ‘chiselled corners’ and the ‘sharp bends’ of the letterforms reference the detailed world of Steensen Varming and establish a unique look without compromising legibility, even in small point sizes.

The identity was created by Søren Varming of Punktum Design, grandson of our founder Jørgen Varming, in association with Henrik Kubel of A2-TYPE for the Varming typeface.

Steensen Varming celebrate 80 years.

Steensen Varming was founded by Niels Steensen and Jørgen Varming in
Copenhagen in 1933. Not long after the war ended, the Dublin office
opened followed by Edinburgh and London – all preceded by prestigious
commissions with competition-winning architects. The Sydney Opera
House commission with Jørgen Utzon continued this pattern and the
Sydney practice opened in 1973, and this year shares its 40th anniversary
with the Sydney Opera House.

In commemoration, Steensen Varming in association with the Sydney
Opera House, are supporting MADE, a multidisciplinary Australian-Danish
student exchange program that aims to promote disciplinary interaction
between engineering, architecture and design students. Later in the year
we will also be part of an exhibition of Danish Design Environments, to be
held at the Opera House.

To mark the occasion, on Thursday the 5th September, Steensen Varming will celebrate at the Concert Hall Northern Foyers. Our valued clients, inspirational architects and dedicated staff will be addressed by Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron, followed by Søren Varming and Tobias Jacobsen, grandsons of Jørgen Varming and Arne Jacobsen – key figures in the development of our way of thinking.

See photos of the event.