2019 Denmark + Sweden

May 26-June 2, 2019 | Copenhagen, Denmark; Malmö and Höör, Sweden

With sustainability as a consideration universally influencing design at Hanbury, Denmark and Sweden were an ideal destination for the 2019 Design Retreat. Focused primarily in Copenhagen, with a day trip swing through the southern tip of Sweden, we found ourselves in the midst of sustainable strategies, principles, practices, and lifestyle implemented at a level perhaps unparalleled anywhere else in the world.  

The Admiral Hotel, a converted massive 18th century warehouse located on the waterfront and adjacent to Amalienborg Palace and the eastern terminus of the Strøget Walking Street, served as our base and provided easy access to historic Copenhagen.

While focused on studying contemporary and mid-century modern Danish and Swedish architecture, we thoroughly criss-crossed historic Copenhagen as we visited the BLOX / Danish Architecture Center by OMA, Bagsvaerd Church by Jorn Utzon, Danmarks Nationalbank and SAS Hotel by Arne Jacobsen, the Danish Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind, the "Black Diamond" (Royal Danish Library) by Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the Thorvaldsen Museum and the National Museum of Denmark. 

On a full-day bike tour led by Danish Architect Bo Christiansen, we visited the Islands Brygge Harbour Bath and Amager Bakke / Copenhill waste-to-energy plant, both by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the Tietgenkollegiet Student Housing by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, the Danish Radio Concert Hall by Jean Nouvel, and the "Mountain" and 8 House, both also by BIG. While in Sweden, we visited St. Peter's Church and Eastern Cemetery Flower Chapel by Sigurd Lewerentz, and Klockarebackens Funeral Chapel by Bernt Nyberg.

We maintained a design retreat tradition of visiting aspirational firms, with a trip to the office of BIG, where we met with senior partners and discussed innovation in their work and practice. And, as is also our tradition, we closed each day with relaxing discussions of what we’d seen and experienced. The 2019 edition of the Design Retreat resoundingly impressed upon us how holistically advanced the Danes are, while also making clear to us that what the Danes have accomplished by carefully designing policy, environmental strategies, and buildings and spaces, with foresight and discipline, is all within our reach.

The curriculum was developed in collaboration with Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee, and provided continuing education credits.