Dorte Mandrup is a team of die-hard overachievers. Striving towards the ultimate synthesis, we combine our firm grasp on reality with a knack for dreaming out loud – delivering the know-how to solidify ideas. 

About the studio

With Founder and Creative Director Dorte Mandrup firmly at the wheel, our international team of 70 die-hard overachievers drive headfirst into complex architectural tasks armed with unconditional curiosity and an undying love for the process of finding an original take.

Driven by a devout belief in the possibilities of modern architecture and an experimental curiosity that insists on outstanding craftmanship – our team combines a firm grasp on reality with a knack for dreaming out loud.

Always striving to perfect the art of listening and understanding the bigger picture, we consider it our greatest responsibility to transform ideas into great, buildable design.

Dorte Mandrup Office
D, Dorte Mandrup, logo
“I have always been preoccupied with the creation of shapes” - Dorte Mandrup

Dorte Mandrup

Originating from a background in sculpture and ceramics, Dorte Mandrup’s approach to architecture has always been ‘hands on’. Shape and form constitute the company ethos - to create spaces which are aesthetically pleasing, contextually relevant, and invite people to engage.

Dorte Mandrup graduated from the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark in 1991. She founded her Copenhagen based studio in 1999 where she continues to be Creative Director. Her design philosophy and artistic yet systematic mindset permeates the entire office as she is design responsible in all projects.

As a humanist with a distinct nonconformist outlook, Dorte Mandrup is well known for her commitment to the development of the architectural practice and her frequent participation in public debates. Receiving national and international acclaim for her work, this year Dorte is headlining at the curated international exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia.

She is Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, member of the Historic Buildings Council in Denmark, Adjunct Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and holds frequent visiting professorships abroad, this year at Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Dorte Mandrup in Person
Our forte is designing for complex and challenging sites – and doing so with an insightfulness that addresses environmental and societal issues.

Areas of expertise

We have specialized in creating iconic buildings spanning geography, function and scale. Our forte lays in designing for complex and challenging sites – and doing so with an insightfulness that addresses environmental and societal issues.

Most of our work is found in the world of landmarks, transformations, mixed use buildings and education & workspace.

Transformation

Transformation

The art of the successful transformation lies somewhere between the past and the future. When faced with the task of transforming – or adding to – an existing building, Dorte Mandrup immerses itself in a process of analyzing existing structures and function, and in researching future needs and desires. Somewhere in the middle – in the present – lies the potential for innovation, whether it be found by stripping down to a fundamental, original structure or by preserving an idea or a quality.

Education & Workspace

Education & Workspace

Creating a well-functioning workspace or a learning environment is nothing short of a gigantic, architectural jigsaw puzzle. The Dorte Mandrup approach is a balanced diet of listening and challenging: listening to and acknowledging the intricate patterns of workflow and user activities, while challenging the presumptions and traditional ideas of what a workplace or learning environment is. Gathering and processing large amounts of data, visualizing a framework for human behaviour and taking the identity and brand of the client into consideration, are all prerequisites for a successful result. A real-life 3D jigsaw puzzle of epic proportions!

Mixed Use

Mixed use

Complexity! Is a keyword in understanding the process behind architectural projects classified as Mixed Use. Complexity sums up the experience of designing a solution that accommodates all the specific needs and desires of diverse target groups, whose only common ground may be the physical site on which they reside. Combining housing, shops and public spaces is no small feat and requires in-depth analysis and a capacity for diversified solutions. Dorte Mandrup has many years of experience dealing with mixed use projects and is the go-to office for complicated assignments.

Landmark

Landmark

We used to affectionately refer to these projects as our supermodels – thereby acknowledging that all buildings are born equal, but some seem to be more equal than others. The term landmarks refers to projects that we simply HAVE to do; projects that beckon us and pull at our artistic heartstrings, whether it is an assignment or a place that requires something out of the ordinary. Some landmarks quickly reveal themselves in the conceptional phase, whereas others develop over time in public opinion – but all with artistic validity and originality at the core of their being.

A formal restlessness that defines our method leads to a process of deep, contextual analysis and explorative prototyping.
Dorte Mandrup

Selected awards

2018

Honorary Grant, Statens Kunstfonds (The Danish Arts Foundation), Denmark

Finn Juhl Architecture Award 2018, Wilhelm Hansen Fund, Denmark


2017

Breeam Building of the year, Sweden Green Building Awards 2017, IKEA Hubhult Global Meeting Centre, Sweden

The Art, Design and Architecture Award of the Year, Dir. Einar Hansen and wife Vera Hansen Foundation, International

Green Good Design Award, The Chicago Athenaeum, Chicago


2016

Hæderslegat (Honorary Award), Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968 (Danish National Bank Jubilee Fund), Denmark

WAN Metal in Architecture Award 2016, Salling Tower, Denmark

TRÄPRISET (Swedish Timber Prize), Råå Preschool, Sweden

WAN Best Mixed-Use Building Award 2015, Sundbyøster Hall II, Denmark


2015

German Design Council - ICONIC Award 2015: "Architecture - Public with distinction", Råå  Preschool, Sweden

Gröna Lansen 2015, IKEA Hubhult Global Meeting Centre, Sweden


2014

WAN Education Award, Amager Children's Culture House, Denmark

AIT Award, Amager Children's Culture House, Denmark


2010

"Store Arne" Award, Danish Association of Architects, Munkegaard School, Denmark


2008

C.F.Hansen Medaillen (The C.F. Hansen Medal), Denmark


2007

Nykredits Arkitekturpris (The Nykredit Architecture Prize), Scandinavia 


2004

Grant, Hans Kongelige Højhed Prinsgemalens Fond (HRH Prince Consort of Denmark Foundation), Denmark

Eckersberg Medaillen (The Eckersberg Medal), Denmark

Direktør N. Bang og Hustru Camilla Bangs Legat (Director N. Bang and Camilla Bang Grant), Denmark

Dreyers Fonds Hæderspris (The Dreyer Foundation - Honorary Award), International
 

2003

Bauwelt-Preis (Bauwelt Award), Neighbourhood Centre, Jemtelandsgade, Denmark
 

2001

Træprisen (Danish Wood Award), Denmark

How we work

As a result of Dorte Mandrup’s educational background in sculpture and natural science, the studio’s method is defined by a formal restlessness that materializes in deep, contextual analysis and explorative prototyping. This preoccupation with exploring sculptural and material qualities of architecture leads to artful, intriguing spaces. Spaces that foreground their environment and the conditions from which they arise.

Our understanding of context goes above and beyond mere observation and towards an inquisitive, open, and highly subjective interpretation of all accessible facts, figures and feelings. With a steadfast integrity and a tenacious approach to quality, the result is classical yet contemporary architecture characterized by a pragmatic sensibility and contextual cohesion.

Only if clients and partners alike share the highest level of architectural ambition, are we successful in creating extraordinary architecture. Only when we share courage and patience to explore and experiment. That is why we choose our projects carefully. That is why we choose our clients carefully.

In the end, the extraordinary requires nerve.

Dorte Mandrup