Shop Talk: Morten Schmidt

Monday 24 Feb 2014

Morten Schmidt of schmidt hammer lassen considers this week's top news stories

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Renovation, Washington DC

“First of all this is interesting because it is one of the first modern libraries - and not a classical library - to be renovated and because at the same time it is a historically preserved building. All of the challenges that lie in that, trying to renovate this modern library that Mies really wanted renovated to be a place for learning. At that time, he thought that transparency was equivalent with democracy but it was still a place where you were going to learn for, more a less, the elitist at that time.

“Today, of course, the library is a much different place to go because it is a place where you want to go to socialise and to meet up with people and of course knowledge share as well. It is much more of a social hub than an elitist learning place. I think the intent of bringing more light into the structure is really good. I think that if Mies had lived today and should have designed a library for modern people, he would probably have done so in a slightly different way…”

The Immersery, Melbourne

“I think that these initiatives that [HASSELL] have done with the coffee farm are really interesting. These projects, you see them around in the metropolises around the world and they are really doing something interesting to our urban environment.”

Sommelier's Home, Budapest

“We see all of these modern family homes that are designed really to the client’s needs and requirements and this is one of them. But it is also obvious that many of these one-family houses, you can clearly see where it’s either that the client has had the power or it’s the architect that’s had the power. And I think that some of the design principles here that are used have not been strong enough. I think there are too many styles in one building.”

Listen to the full interview with Morten Schmidt here.

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