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.
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen grew up on the remote coastal island of Karmøy, Norway, and studied in Germany and England in his youth. It was during his two years in England that he discovered his love for art and, through art, architecture.
Thorsen completed his degree in Austria at the Technische Universität, and subsequently established a one-man private practice, collaborating with other independent architects and landscape architects to increase cross-pollination among different professions in the fields of design, art, and architecture. He and Craig Dykers cofounded Snøhetta after a successful collaboration in the competition to reincarnate the Alexandria Library in Egypt.
Thorsen is an active member of the Norwegian Architecture Association (NAL) and lectures throughout Europe and Asia. He also cofounded Norway's first architectural gallery, Galleri ROM.
Craig Edward Dykers was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1961 and has lived extensively in both Europe and North America. He received a bachelor's degree in architecture at the University of Texas at Austin after initial studies in medicine and art. He worked in Texas and California before cofounding Snøhetta with Kjetil Thorsen in 1989.
Active professionally and academically, Dykers is a member of the Norwegian Architecture Association (NAL) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA); a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England; and vice president of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce. He has been the diploma adjudicator at the Architectural College in Oslo and a distinguished professor at City College of New York City, Syracuse University, and Cornell University. He has lectured extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In addition, Dykers has been commissioned to complete various public installation art projects, often focused on notions of context, nature, and human nature.
Photo.- Snøhetta principal Craig Dykers; photo: Trond Fjørtoft; © Snøhetta.