KIM HERFORTH NIELSEN
PHOTO: ADAM MÖRK
They are currently working on a range of products, including the development of green roofs and façades that use local species of greenery instead of sedum shipped in from overseas. The division is also looking into how waste from the food industry can be turned into building materials (“like potato peel into fluorine materials or tomato stems into building boards”). I ask Nielsen whether he is optimistic or pessimistic about the future for the planet. “Humans have always been very innovative,” he says, “but we are lazy too. If there’s a lot of oil, we’ll use a lot of oil. If there’s no more oil, we’ll cope with that and do things in a different way. “The building industry is a very conservative industry – they’ll say ‘we have to use bricks, because we’ve always used bricks’, ‘we have to use concrete elements because this is how contractors work’. In the future they will have to work in different ways, and they will learn to do so. In that sense, I’m optimistic, and quite excited to see how they will move forward. As architects, we
PHOTO: ADAM MÖRK
WE’RE LOOKING AT HOW WE CAN CREATE BUILDINGS THAT HAVE NO WASTE WHEN YOU COME TO DEMOLISH THEM
to develop a sustainable building culture that positively affects the world we live in. “We started GXN because we realised we were only following what was on the shelf in the building market, and we thought it was more interesting to be at the forefront with new materials and technologies,” he says. “It’s developed to be a lot more; it’s about new software, new techniques, artificial intelligence, robots, research into how design affects behaviour. We’re interested in anything new that influences how we design buildings.” Partnering with a range of experts across various industries, GXN has designed products including the Gotham Luminaire streetlamps, which use the latest solar cell and lighting technology to produce more energy than they use, and the ‘world’s first self-supporting biocomposite façade panel’, which they created with Arup and which won the 2015 JEC Innovation Award in the construction category.
ABOUT 3XN The studio was founded in Aarhus, Denmark in 1986 by young architects Kim Herforth Nielsen, Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen. Kim Herforth Nielsen nows owns 3XN, together with senior partners Jan Ammundsen, Jeanette Hansen, Kasper Guldager Jensen and Audun Opdal. The practice has offices in Copenhagen, New York, Sydney and Stockholm. In 2007, 3XN established the innovation unit GXN to collect and apply the latest knowledge on behaviour materials and The Royal Arena in Copenhagen was designed to
new technologies to their architecture.
be a “good neighbour” says Herforth Nielsen
CLAD mag 2018 ISSUE 4