The partners of DKFS - Dirk Krolikowski and Falko Schmitt - share a common and genuine interest in 'architectural structures' such as bridges with emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach to design. Exploring the boundary between engineering and architecture, the holistic approach is meant to generate a certain spiritual quality, linking the emotional significance of structures with rational requirements of the physical world.
The studio so far has won international competitions, amongst them the international RIBA competition for the 100m River Douglas Bridge which attracted more than 110 international entries. Recognized as an innovative as well as highly efficient and lean structure, the bridge incorporates an excitingly slender deck. Tensioned like a bow string, the user can experience the legible flow of forces of the closed structural system.
DKFS were also awarded the first prize in a prestigious international bridge competition for a 52m moving bridge in the centre of Vienna (Structural engineer: Jane Wernick Associates). It will be Vienna's first bascule bridge which, with its subtle simplicity,integrates into the sensitive historic context of central Vienna without losing its identity as a modern structure.
The proposal for Tower 21 has been developed with ARUP London. It integrates many sustainable technologies such as a highly efficient structure and a tower high passive ventilation stack system serving the entire organisation. The Base, in dialogue with the landscape, provides an integrated and sculptured roofscape, creating a fluid system of connections between the topology of the site and the footing of the tower. This approach creates a symbiotic relationship of natural and built landscape as a pervious, multilayered network of circulation routes providing a multilayered public space and a culturally highly ergonomic solution.
In 2011 DKFS have been laureates of 'Europe 40 under 40', conferred by the European Centre for Architecture, Art,Design and Urban Studies & the Chicago Athenaeum.