Sean Mulcahy dies

It is with great sadness we announce that Sean Mulcahy, one of the early visionaries of Steensen Varming, along with Jørgen Varming, passed away Saturday 17 February 2018 in Dublin.

Sean (born 1926) joined Jørgen in 1948 on the establishment of a Dublin office (today Varming Consulting Engineers), working on many notable buildings such as the Irish National Bus Terminal and Headquarters for the National Irish Transport Authorities, the Chester Beatty Library, Coventry Cathedral, St. Catherine’s College, Sydney Opera House and thee British Library. He was not only a great engineer but had an appreciation of architecture, art and culture that pervades in Steensen Varming to this day. He was a truly elegant gentleman and a proud supporter for the work and direction we are all currently taking the company. We express a sincere gratitude for his influence on our work and lives and will make all efforts to keep his legacy alive.

The Irish Times obituary

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

With great anticipation for the year of the dog, we look back at an exciting year passed with new appointments, including the external lighting design for The University of Hong Kong’s Main Building with AD+RG, Wilkinson Eyre and Purcell and lighting concepts for Sai Kung Hotel with Aedas and Alex Choi Design & Partners. Our sustainability specialists have supported Quad in developing strategies for a residential development project in Shantou, China and a masterplan development in Pingshan, China.

In the past year we strengthened our team with the appointment of Associate Jonny Perks (previously based in Sydney) and Lighting Designer Zafer Dandashi, addressing the market’s increasing demand for higher building performance and specialist lighting design that provides cohesive environments within a fast-developing city.

We were recently appointed to work with Atkins (SNC-Lavalin) in providing sustainability masterplanning design services for the Bayshore precinct in Singapore. The project will create a number of diverse micro-communities tied together by pedestrian-friendly connections and we are excited to contribute to the vision of making the streets a destination.

Another successful masterplan competition with Atkins will be kicking off this year in Malaysia, while we keep our fingers crossed for the outcome of the 2nd stage of the Taoyuan Museum of Arts competition where we are part of one of the four shortlisted teams with JJ Pan and MVRDV Architects.

We wish all of our friends, clients and collaborators a happy, prosperous Lunar New Year!

Images: Kowloon Bay lighting design (Swire Properties), artwork by Patrick Clinen

With excitement at height

When timeframes are tight, We welcome this season, With a holiday greeeting.

The Steensen Varming teams in Copenhagen, London, Sydney, Hong Kong and New York wish our friends, clients and collaborators a happy holiday season!

Our Sydney and Canberra studios will be closed for the holiday period from midday on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopen on Monday 8 January 2018.

Our London studio will be closed midday on Friday 22 December 2017 and reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Our Hong Kong studio will be closed midday on Friday 22 December 2017 to Tuesday 26 December 2017 and on Monday 1 January 2018.

Steensen Varmings kontorer i København, London, Sydney, Hong Kong og New York ønsker venner, kunder og samarbejdspartnere en glædelig jul og et godt nytår!

Vi holder ferielukket fra kl. 12.00 fredag d. 22. december2017 og åbner igen mandag d.8. januar 2018.

Among 16 most energy efficient offices in Australia

It is not common to sort organic waste in Sydney CBD offices. Yet, we continuously look for ways to make our business more sustainable in everything we do and to inspire this positive transformation in others, so we reviewed the waste management practices for our building with the building management and downstairs café. This collaborative effort has earned us the NSW Partnership of the Year award.

At this year’s CitySwitch Awards held at the Calyx in the Royal Botanic Gardens on Tuesday 28 November 2017 Steensen Varming was named among the top 16 most energy efficient offices in the country, assessed on the basis of our 6 stars NABERS rating.

The sustainable initiatives of our Sydney studio are incorporated throughout the office design and holistically in our daily operation.

Nearly 50 per cent of our fit-out has been reused to minimise wastage. We have used a durable, cork-based flooring which gives special consideration given to joinery and paint materials. Our specialist light fittings use low energy LED lamps and the lighting system reflects patterns of use with sensors installed in the bathrooms. Our air-conditioning system is zoned and for further energy efficiency gains, the communications room is designed to borrow air from the access floor which is pre-cooled by the concrete slab below.

Making the streets a destination in Singapore

Located over 60ha in an important and highly visible location in Singapore, the Bayshore precinct will house around 12,000 families. The new development is set on the waterfront amongst tropical greenery with new strong public transport connections to the rest of Singapore.

With a courtyard-and-tower housing typology, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) aspires to bring people back to the streets with a network of courtyards being used like the “common living room”. Where roads were once dedicated to vehicles travelling from one place to another, this vision sees the streets as vibrant public spaces and places to visit in their own right.

Our Hong Kong studio has been appointed to work with Atkins (SNC-Lavalin) in providing sustainability masterplanning design services for the project, creating a number of diverse micro-communities tied together by pedestrian-friendly connections.

See more details on the project here

Join us on ‘the dark side’ at IMCC Copenhagen

This year’s International Museum Construction Congress is taking place in Copenhagen on 5-7 November and will have museum professionals along with architects, engineers and project managers and other service professionals discuss the key topics relating to museum construction, renovation and expansion.

As part of the agenda our CEO, Dan Mackenzie will be presenting under the title The Black Art (and Science):

Almost all buildings need to incorporate technology, engineering services, passive control and adaptability for future needs, however, due to a number of reasons they can be seen as a “black art”, a “necessary evil” that takes budget and space away from “more important” things.

So, what are the issues that need to be understood and expected so that the process and final outcome is optimised? How are older buildings sustainable, how do services enable architectural icons to perform? The session breaks down some of the most important aspects into elements such as light, air, humidity, sustainability and control, conveying their needs and impacts from the initial brief through to operation. A number of case studies (new buildings, heritage buildings and combinations of the two) will be presented that have addressed the very demanding and often conflicting requirements for conservation, display and user comfort.

Register and read more about the congress here

Steensen Varming Strengthens Hong Kong Studio

Three years following Steensen Varming’s establishment in Hong Kong and entry in the South East Asian market, the company is growing its local team with the relocation of Associate Jonny Perks (previously based in Sydney) and the appointment of Lighting Designer Zafer Dandashi.

Jonny is an Associate and Sustainability Consultant with diverse experience, having lived and worked in UK, Australia and the Middle East. He specialises in sustainability and energy strategies for masterplans, buildings and infrastructure developments and manages many international sustainability rating systems such as LEED, WELL, Green Star, EEO, GSAS and CEEQUAL and BREEAM. He will join the studio’s sustainability team and assist in setting new benchmarks for sustainable design in Hong Kong through frameworks and strategies to optimise the efficient use of resources and ensuring adaptability for future climate conditions.

Zafer Dandashi has been appointed as a lighting designer. With a background in architecture, he integrates a thorough understanding of both lighting design and architecture into his work, developing architectural lighting, landscape lighting and luminaire design. Zafer has completed many notable lighting projects in Saudi Arabia across the public, commercial, health, residential and urban sectors. He will present a strong contribution to the lighting team, developing concepts that support the architectural and enhance the visual environment and human experience.

Steensen Varming’s Hong Kong studio is managed by Director Chris Arkins who notes on the new appointments “Hong Kong is a dynamic city. Since opening our office here we have witnessed the increasing demand for higher building performance and specialist lighting design that provides cohesive environments within a fast-developing area. This has provided a great market for Steensen Varmings’s specialist services advice on sustainability and architectural lighting design for universities, hospitals and cultural buildings.”

The Building and the Best of the Best

It couldn’t get better than this for Indigo Slam at the inaugural INDE.Awards. From 400 entries, across more than 365 days, and throughout 14 countries in the Asia Pacific region, the project was presented at the Sydney Awards Ceremony as winner of “The Building” as well as “INDE Best of the Best” categories. In addition to this, the project’s architect, William Smart, was celebrated as “The Luminary” for his contribution to Australia’s built environment.

We collaborated with William and Smart Design Studio as the lighting designers on Indigo Slam where light is used a key element in the architectural composition and balance of the spaces, giving each different part of the residence its own atmosphere. Lighting in each space has been mindfully composed to complement the mood and articulate the beauty and qualities of architectural elements. Read more on the project here.

Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards

Whilst enjoying beautiful Barcelona, we had the honour of collecting an award at the renowned Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards. The Australian War Memorial Lighting Masterplan was selected for the Architectural Outdoor Lighting Award for its “elegantly balanced scheme where each detail is accented appropriately. Integrating the light throughout the monument the consistency of approach is equally expressed in the constructed elements of darkness”. Viva!

Press Release Steensen Varming Awarded Aarhus New School Architecture Multidisciplinary

Strong Interdisciplinary Team Wins International Competition for First Newly Built Architecture School in Denmark

Vargo Nielsen Palle, ADEPT, and Rolvung og Brøndsted Arkitekter in collaboration with engineering companies Tri-Consult and Steensen Varming have won the international competition for the first newly built architecture school in Denmark. They were in competition with BIG, Sanaa, and Lacaton & Vassal, among others. The jury cites the entry’s playful combination of flexible studio space, specific functions, and public spaces which together create a strong connection to Godsbanearealerne.

Vargo Nielsen Palle was chosen as one of the winners of the initial open idea competition for the school, and lead the team with an open design process focused on a multidisciplinary collaboration. Together with the team, they envision a school of architecture that functions as a laboratory for architecture and the local creative community. Vargo Nielsen Palle will be the contract holder and will continue to lead the project with the same open spirit.

Vargo Nielsen Palle explains: “When given the right tools and opportunity, people engage their surroundings. Godsbanearealerne already proves this by inviting the local community into an experimental campus. The school should not just be an institution for architecture – It should continue this open laboratory, sharing its tools and programs with the public to create opportunities for the informal evolution of architecture.”

The design of the architecture and landscape of the invited competition is made by Vargo Nielsen Palle and ADEPT. Rolvung og Brøndsted has advised the architectural development and project management. The new architecture school will build a bridge between the school and the city, especially to the scale of the local activities. The site borders the “Green Wedge” of Aarhus, an open landscape reclaimed from industrial uses. The building steps down to meet the scale of this informal environment and is divided into smaller structures within the larger building.

Martin Krogh from ADEPT further explains: “The building is organized as a city within a building: Rich in diversity but within a simple and rough frame. A variety of functions can be used by the entire city, and the larger open spaces throughout the building allow students and the public to interact in both planned and unplanned activities. The mixture between the school and the city is one of the things that will really give life to the school and the local area.”

The Aarhus School of Architecture desires a flexible framework of workshops, studios, and open spaces within a raw, industrial framework. They imagine a building that can withstand a high level of activity and intensive functions, which may also change over time. The winning proposal accomplishes this vision by creating a frame for architecture and compact “toolboxes” with specific functions within that frame. This provides both the space and tools for students to experiment, and the activity of the building becomes the architecture itself.

“The team members have all contributed to a building concept that brings form, function, and technical aspects together into one concept. The two engineering firms, Tri-Consult and Steensen Varming, being part of the creative process from the start,” says Jakob Brøndsted of Rolvung og Brøndsted Arkitekter. This integrated process supports the holistic vision for the school, balancing a healthy and comfortable environment with sustainable solutions that consider social, economic, and environmental opportunities. Passive and active ventilation strategies combined with optimized daylight conditions for color rendering will create a good learning environment and an inspirational place to teach architecture.

The building is scheduled to be completed in 2020. In addition to the school building itself, the winning project proposes several optional smaller buildings in Godsbanearealerne. These include a small artist’s residence, an architectural center for children, and workshops that continue the spirit of “Institute for X” on the site.