I have been following CEBRA for a while, and when I noticed that Mikkel Frost (one of the partners) was going to lecture at CIP Talks, I finally saw an opportunity to interview him to understand more about the “CEBRA style”. His presentation was a blast. Mikkel was so passionate about their work, always looking for new formulas on each project but still maintaining a unique touch…. as a cebra: always the same, but always different.
Two of the projects (that I will feature here later) that took my attention were the Iceberg (), a residential development done with JDS, SeARCH and Louis Paillard, on which market rules dictated a way different kind of project, but that the architects were smart enough to twist and come up with good solutions: an optimal orientation, securing views over the sea even for the buildings in the back row, different units size to bring a mix of different people to live together on the development… a win win project for both the client, the market and the end users. The other project that took my attention was the Design Kindergarten, a sustainable school on which the architects got very involved, and instead of doing a project according to some fixed requirements, they had the chance to propose several things that would have an impact on the children’s education.
But back to CEBRA: The firm was founded in 2001 by Mikkel Frost, Carsten Primdahl and Kolja Nielsen, all graduates from the Aarhus School of Architecture. For the past nine years the practice has produced a high numbers of projects for a young office, as you can see on our previous features and on their website. In 2006, CEBRA received the the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale with their project Co-evolution (link to flash file), which was later exhibited in Sao Paulo, Beijing, Manchester and Copenhagen. In 2008 CEBRA also participated in the Biennale, but curating the Danish Pavilion. Also in 2008, the firm received the most important architecture award in Scandinavia, the Nykredits Architecture Award.
Architecture is a profession of passion, and those who are able to transmit it through their projects and speeches are getting it right, as I feel CEBRA is doing. And I´m very sure that we are going to see more and more projects coming from this danish firm.