1925 - 2013
Henning Larsen passed away in Copenhagen a few weeks after receiving the Mies van der Rohe Award for the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik. A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, trained under another illustrious Dane, Jørn Utzon, and heir of a Scandinavian tradition that in his country was started by Arne Jacobsen, Larsen was as an architect extraordinarily prolific as well as very flexible, with a capacity to use different architectural languages. These qualities much explain the success of his practice – set up in 1959 and now employing almost 200 people – and his presence in both the Scandinavian context – with emblematic works like the Copenhagen Opera House – and in very different environments, such as the United Kingdom and, mostly, Saudi Arabia, where he built the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh (1984) and the Danish embassy (1988), works that would bring him the Aga Khan Award in 1989. Larsen managed to combine this herculean professional activity with teaching, publishing – he was at the helm of the magazine Skala from 1980 to 1990 –, and also philanthropy, through the foundation that carries his name.