2010 HONORARY FELLOWSHIP
The AIA Honorary Fellowship program was developed as the international counterpart to the Fellowship program. Election to honorary fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the foreign architect as an individual, but also elevates before the international public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on an international level.
An architect of esteemed character and distinguished achievements who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a resident of the United States and who does not primarily practice architecture within the domain of the Institute may be admitted to honorary fellowship.
Since the 1985 founding of Lundgaard and Tranberg Architects in Copenhagen, Lene Tranberg, Hon. FAIA, has had a remarkable career, proving to be one of the most sensitive and creative architects in Scandinavia. Tranberg has designed a large body of work, with each project precisely orchestrated from the overall composition to each careful detail, exhibiting sensitivity in the treatment of materials as well as a deep understanding of environmental sustainability.
The distinctive feature of her architectural approach is her ability to develop a sensitive and informed response to a specific site while having the audacity to stay true to her architectural vision, however imaginative it may seem. This rare ability reveals itself consistently throughout her work, from early projects such as the Blangstedgaard exhibition space, located in an open, vast landscape, to the most recent New Playhouse for the Royal Theatre, located on the Copenhagen harbor front. Amongst hundreds of entries, only Lene Tranberg’s proposal succeeded in creating a harmonious solution on a complicated site.
Early in her career, Lene foresaw the importance of integrating sustainability as a necessary parameter at the beginning of the creative process. Finding consistent and sustainable solutions, and using materials with both an aesthetic and environmental consciousness, is thus a natural part of her architectural work. Projects such as Tietgen Dormitory, the New Playhouse, and the Wedge for Copenhagen Business School combine audacity, poetic creativity, and sustainability. Together they reveal a creative transformation over the years in which a growing courage has found expression in a unique approach to the spatial possibilities inherent in each site. In his letter of support, Peter Cohan, AIA, assistant professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, remarked that “the Tietgen Dormitory and the New Royal Playhouse in particular are projects that stand among the best new buildings in Europe. They are thoughtfully sited, conceptually clear, and spatially rich. Tranberg has turned complex functional programs into logical and ordered sequences. However, the most remarkable thing about these buildings is their powerful tectonic presence. The use of materials thoughtfully supports the conceptual underpinnings, and the innovative and insightful use of details is extraordinary.”
Her work has been well-awarded, including the Honor Prize of the National Bank Jubilee Fund (2008) and the C.F. Hansen Medal of the Royal Academy (2006), a prize normally awarded to architects at the end of their careers, but with Lene, the Academy made an exception.
A dedicated teacher and esteemed visiting lecturer, her teaching career began at the School of Architecture at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen. She is currently active as an examiner, appointed by the Academy Council, both at the Royal Academy and the Aarhus School of Architecture. A frequent lecturer and participant in professional gatherings in Scandinavia and Europe, she also recently lectured at the University of Washington in Seattle. Tranberg considers it an important part of her work to contribute to the education of tomorrow’s architects as well as to bring attention to sustainable, sophisticated, and exemplary design.
Not only a renowned architect and teacher, Lene is also known as an empathic and focused leader who has gathered in her studio a talented group of young architects, providing a positive framework that allows individual talent and potential to unfold in a playful albeit structured setting. While open to the creative ideas of others, she remains focused on her own vision as a leader and as an architect.
In her sponsor letter, Anne Schopf, FAIA, notes that Lene “takes what is often done on a small scale and explodes it to large scale works, without loss of intimacy and uniqueness. The Royal Danish Playhouse is one such example, perched on the water adjacent to Nyhavn. Unassuming at first, it almost blends in to the cacophonous waterfront, revealing itself in layers and subtle materiality at each turn. The lobby thrusts itself into the waterfront, while the interior of the house feels as if carved into rock. Both dramatic and visceral, it is truly the Magical House. I can tell you that her work has profoundly influenced me and has inspired me to stay true to what I hold deep in my heart: sensitivity to place, culture and craft.”
Henry Alexander Jr., FAIA
Jeffrey A. Huberman, FAIA
Allan W. Kehrt, FAIA
Michael Lischer, FAIA
Paula J. Loomis, FAIA
Robert Loversidge, FAIA
Gregory S. Palermo, FAIA
Jim W. Sealy, FAIA