Snøhetta is an integrated architecture, landscape, and interior design company based in Oslo, Norway, and New York City, formed in 1989 and led by principals Craig Dykers and Kjetil Thorsen. The firm, which is named after one of Norway's highest mountain peaks, has approximately 100 staff members working on projects around the world. The practice pursues a collaborative, transdisciplinary approach, with people from multiple professions working together to explore diverse perspectives on each project.
Snøhetta has completed a number of critically acclaimed cultural projects, including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt; the National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway; and the Lillehammer Art Museum in Norway. Current projects include the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center site in New York.
In 2004 Snøhetta received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and in 2009 the firm was honored with the Mies van der Rohe Award. Snøhetta is the only company to have twice won the World Architecture Award for best cultural building, in 2002 for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and in 2008 for the National Opera and Ballet in Oslo.
Ai Weiwei is a chinese conceptual artist, also works as an architect, photographer, curator and globally recognised human rights activist. Born in 1957 in Beijing, he began his training at Beijing Film Academy and later continued at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. His work has been exhibited around the world with solo exhibitions at Stiftung DKM, Duisburg (2010); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2009); Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Cambelltown Arts Center, Sydney (2008); and the Groninger Museum, Groningen (2008), and participation in the 48th Venice Biennale in Italy (1999, 2008, 2010); Guangzhou Triennale in China (2002, 2005), Busan Biennial in Korea (2006), Documenta 12 in Germany (2007), and the 29th Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil (2010). In October 2010, Ai Weiwei's "Sunflower Seeds" was installed in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London. Ai Weiwei participated in the Serpentine Gallery's China Power Station exhibition in 2006, and the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon in 2010.
The last solo exhibitions included Ai Weiwei in the Chapel, on view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park through November 2, 2014; Evidence at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2014; and Ai Weiwei: According to What?, which was organized by the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, in 2009, and traveled to North American venues in 2013–14. Ai collaborated with architects Herzog & de Meuron on the “bird’s nest” stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and on the Serpentine Gallery, 2012 London. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation in 2012.