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VILHELM LAURITZEN

Vilhelm Theodor Lauritzen was one of Denmark’s most important architects and a father of Danish Modernism. Today, many of his projects remain as lasting examples of what was then a new and revolutionary approach to architecture in which form followed function. Throughout his career, he maintained that architecture should be an applied art that serves all, not just the privileged few. Among Lauritzen’s most famous and acclaimed works are Copenhagen Airport’s first terminal (1939), which is now known as the Vilhelm Lauritzen Terminal, Radiohuset broadcasting building in Frederiksberg (1945), Vega music venue in Copenhagen (1956), and the Danish Embassy in Washington D.C. (1960).
Vilhelm Lauritzen was born on 10 September 1894 in Slagelse, Denmark. He graduated high school from Sorø Akademi in 1912 and from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture in Copenhagen in 1921. The following year, he founded Tegnestuen Vilhelm Lauritzen (today Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects).His study trips to Spain and Greece had a great influence on his later work, including his first major commission, the department store Daells Varehus, which was a competition he won in 1922 in association with architect Frits Schlegel. 

His designs express a clear idea that spaces and shapes should last for generations. To fully appreciate how groundbreaking his architecture was, it should be viewed in context with his contemporaries. Architecture has long focused on the shapes and ornamentation of buildings. Vilhelm Lauritzen’s approach was more one of usability. With his free thinking and focus on functionality, he created such simple, highly functional solutions that at first glance one risks overlooking his genius.