1 The Snøhetta story in short
Snøhetta is a transdisciplinary, dialogue-driven practice including architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, art, product design, graphic and digital design, often integrating a combination of interests across our projects. We share our name with a beautiful, remote, and historically important mountain in central Norway.
Snøhetta is a place nobody is from, but anyone can experience. Creating places for societies to connect with each other and with the world around them is a primary motivation in our work. Dialogue and diversity empower this approach.
Our first significant commission was in 1989 for Bibliotheca Alexandrina, reviving the ancient library in Alexandria, Egypt. This was followed by commissions for the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo and the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center in New York City. Since those early projects, many other internationally acclaimed works have been realized around the globe.
Although these larger projects are often a focus of attention, we continue to work within a range of scales and types of work starting from something as small as a bird nest or beehive. We work with various types of cultural, science and commercial work from smaller scales to as large as urban master planning. We have designed and built tables, chairs, paving and new environmentally sensitive materials for use in construction. Our product, graphic and digital design teams regularly receive international acclaim and push the envelope of how to positively transform the world around us through their work.
Environmental and cultural sensitivity
From the beginning, our approach has been framed by environmental and cultural sensitivity. When we began the studio, the Brundtland Commission’s UN report on sustainability, Our Common Future, was just published and became an inspiration to build a positive future, unique at the time. Throughout the years, we continue to promote design as a positive force in the world. Today, we also connect habitat for humans and non-humans alike with other considerations of sustainable materials, positive energy and water resource management, carbon and emissions control, and control of waste. This is further empowered by positive workplace guidelines for healthy labor practice in construction and throughout the design process.
Representing the societies and cultures we operate in, we are proud to have more than 350 employees from 40 nations across nine regional studios spanning from Oslo to New York and San Francisco to Innsbruck, Paris, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen.
2 Studio spaces
Human interaction shapes the spaces and products we design and how we work. The design of our studio spaces reflects this same idea. Our offices are open and welcoming, facilitating both focused thinking and energized interaction.
A horizontal organizational structure and open flow of information between colleagues are core to our culture. Our office layouts are non-hierarchical, allowing all employees – regardless of role or profession – to sit together in an open studio.
Among many recognitions, Snøhetta is honored to have been awarded the Aga Kahn Prize for Architecture for Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award for the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, A.C. Houens Fond Diploma and the Grosch Medal. In 2016, Snøhetta was named Wall Street Journal Magazine's Architecture Innovator of the Year, and the practice has been named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company two years in a row.
In 2020, Snøhetta was awarded the National Design Award for Architecture, bestowed by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and also Design and Architecture Norway’s Honorary Award for the underwater restaurant Under. In 2021 and 2022, Snøhetta’s Forite Tiles won the Sustainable Design of the Year by Dezeen and Best Domestic Design by Wallpaper* in 2022, while the wayfinding system for Le Monde Group Headquarters was acknowledged with the Monocle Design Awards.