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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 »

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.

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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 »

Opening of the New Sydney Modern Project

We are excited about the much-anticipated recent opening of the new Sydney Modern project to the public.

Steensen Varming are privileged to have been involved with various key projects for the AGNSW over the last 30 years and are honoured to have been part of the next chapter of the AGNSW in designing the mechanical, electrical and vertical transportation services for the Sydney Modern project, as well as the finalisation and delivery of the lighting design during construction.

Congratulations to AGNSW, SANAA architects, Architectus and Richard Crookes Constructions on delivering this most significant cultural building for Sydney and Australia.

Opening of the New Sydney Modern Project Read More »

The IES NSW Lighting Design Awards 2022

Last week we attended the IES NSW Lighting Design Awards night. It was good to re-connect and meet in person after a 2-year break, and also to come home with two awards for our projects.

We would like to congratulate all award winners as well as the event organizers, and thank our clients and collaborators. We are humbled by the trust that has been and continues to be put in us and are looking forward to continuing to contribute to positive environments and outcomes.


Woodriff Lane – IES NSW Award of Commendation

The project is a catalyst and part of a larger Council strategy to bring people back into the city centre in the evening, enhance walkability, activation of the nighttime economy and support pedestrian connections. The solution achieves the project objectives through a simple yet imaginative design, creating a memorable, inviting space for the community and bringing joy to the nighttime experience.

Made from coloured sail cloth with a triangulated motif, the shades speak to the namesake of the installation; Daniel Woodriff, a British Royal Navy officer and navigator in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century who was granted 1,000 acres in Penrith. A subtle nod to the history of the site adds integrity to the placemaking strategy.

The lamp shade is locally designed and fabricated, minimising transport and supporting sustainability initiatives. Furthermore, the creative and simple solution developed utilises the existing infrastructure, minimising cost as well as making use of resources still within their design life.

Collaborator: KI STUDIO
Client: Penrith City Council

The Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand:





Dangrove – IES NSW Award of Excellence

The lighting solution for Dangrove looks beyond the typical architectural and museum luminaire range, adapting a stage lighting design approach to light the display walls from the stepped mesh ceiling with theatrical DMX controlled RGBAL performance luminaires. Track and track lighting are mounted in a channel running across the gallery at each level of the ceiling arrangement to facilitate spotlighting of individual artworks below.

The innovative strategy of adapting stage performance lighting to act as display wallwashing in a museum environment has the additional advantage of also being used to support special events, performances and festivals, and by artists and performers in the creation of site-specific artworks with a full range of colour changing dynamic dimming capabilities.

Architect: Tzannes
Photographer: Ben Guthrie, The Guthrie Project

The Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand:


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NEW AARCH wins Danish Building of the Year 2021

The Aarhus School of Architecture is a story about collaboration.

‘New Aarch’ is the first new building for a school of architecture ever to be built in Denmark. Resembling an industrial building, it is carefully constructed to encourage the incubation of new architectural ideas, foster community involvement and minimise use of energy and resources.

On the New Aarch project, Steensen Varming worked together with architectural practice ADEPT and fellow engineering firm Tri Consult. The key area of works was conserving resource and energy consumption within the New Aarch building. Steensen Varming provided detailed calculations to ensure an optimum balance between reducing energy consumption while also ensuring students’ had good lighting, a comfortable temperature environment, fresh air and sun protection.

Steensen Varming would like to congratulate the entire design team on receiving a design award in the open category of the Annual Building Awards organised by the Danish Byggeri Magazine.

Client: Bygningsstyrelsen / Arkitektskolen Aarhus
Lead consultant / architect: ADEPT
Engineer: Tri-Consult
Main contractor: A. Enggaard A/S
Architect collaboration competition and concept proposal: ADEPT, Vargo Nielsen Palle, Rolvung & Brøndsted
Client consulting: Etos Ingeniører, A2, Nord Arkitekter
Other consultants: Steensen Varming, Lendager Arktekter
Landscape: ADEPT
Art: Lea Porsager
Library: Praksis Arkitekter
For more information about the award head to Åretsbyggeri

Image credit: Rasmus Hjortshøj

NEW AARCH wins Danish Building of the Year 2021 Read More »

Social Initiative – Season’s Greetings Card 2021

Since our foundation in 1933, Steensen Varming has shown a commitment to creating ‘positive environments’, and continuously improving our practices to the benefit of the local and global environment and communities. We consider environmental and social issues to be essential to a responsible business. Through our commitment to the UNSDG’s and B Corp certification we have broadened our approach and are supporting ethical businesses and social initiatives within our local communities in each of our regions.

Having had a long history in supporting emerging artists, one of our initiatives in Australia is supporting indigenous businesses and young indigenous artists:

The work of emerging artist Anna Dowling, a descendant of the Badimia people of the Yamatji region in Western Australia, reflects the beauty, diversity and value of Aboriginal culture – Gallery – Anna Dowling

Her work “Life Water” centres on the traditional Aboriginal symbol for river, and focusses on the need for protecting and preserving our environmental and water systems and respecting the strong traditional, cultural connections that Aboriginal people have to these locations. This reflects our own eco-centric principles and the global challenge to comprehensively address climate change and sustainability as one of the most important issues of our time.

The work echoes our ethos but also marks the beginning of our own journey of reconciliation:

We believe the aboriginal culture to be one of the few human cultures to understand and live by sustainable practices that balance their needs with those of nature, never over-exploiting the environment to their own gain. To strengthen these connections, build relationships, respect and trust, Steensen Varming is creating a Reconciliation Action Plan which we will embark on in 2022.

The choice of art from an emerging artist of aboriginal decent with a depiction of an important environmental issue seemed a natural choice as a reflection of our own purpose.

At the turn of the year, a time where we think about and appreciate our collaborators and friends, posting a handwritten card feels more personal than sending an e-card. The card making process involved ethical and sustainable business Kailow in Denmark and Australian aboriginal business Ochre Dawn in Australia, ensuring that the cards, which are made of recycled paper with carbon emissions offset, have a wider benefit.

We look forward to sharing further stories from other regions soon.

Social Initiative – Season’s Greetings Card 2021 Read More »

Scott Base Redevelopment Funding Announced!

The New Zealand Treasury has today announced $344 million in funding for the Scott Base Redevelopment in Antarctica in the 2021 Budget. As the building services engineers on the project, Steensen Varming has been working closely with Antarctica New Zealand and the design team since 2017.

The new redevelopment will be home to world-leading scientists in one of the most isolated places on Earth, maintaining New Zealand’s continuous presence on the continent since 1957. With a target of 97% renewable energy use for the Scott Base Redevelopment, New Zealand’s environmental leadership within the Antarctic Treaty is central to the design.

Other consultants working on the project include Jasmax and Hugh Broughton Architects (Architecture), WSP (Civil and Structural Engineer), The Building Intelligence Group (Design Manager), Rawlinsons (Quantity Surveyor), Acor Consultants (Fire, Hydraulics and Fuel), and Holmes Fire (Fire Engineering). Leighs Construction will construct the buildings off-site in New Zealand and they will be shipped in large format modules to Antarctica to be installed.

Image Credit: Jasmax and Hugh Broughton Architects

Scott Base Redevelopment Funding Announced! Read More »

Architects Henning Larsen wins Sydney Design Competition

The Henning Larsen winning design for this urban park-centred development, which provides additional parkland and recreational space for the city of Sydney, has been selected by GPT Group and AMP Capital as the winning concept for their $650 million, 73,000m2 office and retail redevelopment of the Sydney’s Cockle Bay Wharf.

Situated at the western edge of the Sydney Central Business District (CBD), occupying a significant waterfront location overlooking Darling Harbour, the new tall building will be an elegant addition to the Sydney skyline.

The Henning Larsen design realises the original city vision for the site, connecting the Harbour with its workers, residents and visitors. The development will be a new vibrant mixed-use waterfront neighbourhood destination for Sydney providing a choice of experiences.

Steensen Varming’s Copenhagen and Sydney studios worked together to provide building services solutions to assist Henning Larsen in the creating the winning competition design for this new iconic landmark building for Sydney. The last time Steensen Varming successfully collaborated with a Danish Architect on an Australian Design Competition was for the Sydney Opera House. The high-quality integrated engineered solutions proposed for this development, facilitates energy efficiency, flexibility and sustainability which will contribute to the wellbeing of worker, visitor and the general public in a positive manner.

Architecture: Henning Larsen
Landscape Architect: McGregor Coxall
Retail: Geoffreything Studio
Structural + Civil Engineering: Enstruct
Façade: Henning Larsen and Thornton Tomasetti
Sustainability: Henning Larsen and Steensen Varming
Mechanical Services: Steensen Varming
Lighting: Steensen Varming
Electrical: Steensen Varming
Fire and Hydraulics: Warren Smith and Partners
Fire Engineering: RED
Vertical Transportation: Steensen Varming
Image Credit: Henning Larsen

Architects Henning Larsen wins Sydney Design Competition Read More »