Lars believed that the prevailing minimalistic architecture lacked humanity. He wanted to create a new direction of architecture that focuses on humanism and social values into the architecture. He coined the term “Huminalism” as the combination of humanism, social values, and architecture. Founded in 1997, the studio has grown into a global player popular for sustainable architecture, urbanism, and design. The office has grown into an international practice with award-winning work in the Scandinavian region and worldwide. Lars and his team focus on creating architectural quality based on innovation, experience, and Nordic values. This unique blend ensures sustainable and aesthetic solutions with lasting value for the clients, occupants, and society.
“For me trying to be a good leader is about giving out a high degree of freedom and responsibility, and then be a supporter instead of a leader,” asserts Lars. Being intrigued by the rare vision and philosophy that Lars Gitz possesses, we got an opportunity to interview him and share his candid thoughts through this article.
How has the place of sustainable architecture in the industry changed over the years?
We are seeing an increased focus on sustainable architecture. Where previously it was an element we had to push for to get something in the projects, it has now become a natural part of the projects, which all parties involved are aware of and focus on as a very important element.
The pandemic temporarily shut down several projects worldwide. How did it impact your company?
When COVID-19 broke out, we saw a period of about 3 months where several projects were put on hold. The parties involved were worried about what was happening, but after some time the projects were started again, and at the moment the building industry in the Scandinavian countries is in full swing.
Do you think awards and recognition play a part in motivating you through the journey?
As a person, I am not very ambitious, but I am very ambitious on behalf of my projects, and the awards and recognition give more attention to our studio, which gives us more possibilities to pursue our passion for shaping the future architecture and human life. Recently, we have been awarded the WA- World Architecture Award, Architect of the Year World Award, Iconic World Award, Building Of The Year Award, Most Innovative Sustainable Architecture Studio Award, Project of the Year Award, Build Architecture World Award, Muse World Award, Lux Life World Award, and WAN–World Architecture News Award. We are always very honored and grateful for the recognition and awards we receive.
Failures are part of the entrepreneurial journey. What is your outlook towards failure?
There will always be failures, and when they occur I always try to focus on the bigger picture. I store them in the back of my mind as yet another learning, and then my mind is looking forward. I usually say that there is a reason why the windshield of a car is larger than the rear window.
How do you envision Lars Gitz Architecture to shape in the coming years?
My vision for the studio is to holistically create architecture and design beyond normal standards, based on Nordic values, and adapted to future global challenges. Together with our clients to join forces and create a world of new opportunities to live sustainable, smarter, and more connected lives. My mission is to keep on challenging the traditional preconceptions of space and form and create outstanding buildings that reflect a unique design vision and craft.
According to you, why should one consider pursuing a career in this particular industry?
I love being an architect. It has a perfect combination of the artistic and the given professional circumstances and challenges, which have to be solved in each project. I also enjoy the interaction of designing in the studio and being on construction sites and watching the construction take shape.
If you could change one thing about the journey or do something differently, what would it be?
For me being an architect is a way of living, there is no clear distinction between my work and my personal life. I think quite a lot of people in the creative world feel the same way. Your mind in some way always wants to puzzle with ideas and designs, and I embrace it as a positive way of life for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, are there any hobbies you pursue in your free time?
I always try to find time to play sports in everyday life, both because I enjoy it, but it also gives me a mental balance and a physical energy boost. During the week I switch between running and working out, and I also like sailing and handball.
Lastly, could you pen your thoughts on leadership or share any advice for your peers?
I think it is important that you as a leader try to represent and reflect the values you want to be the backbone and the identity of the company. In our studio, we have written down the core values for us, which are simplicity, clarity, honesty, and passion. With these core values, we want to produce architecture and design beyond normal standards, strongly focused on professionalism, credibility, innovation, and loyalty. I also believe in the Law of Attraction, which basically means, that if you visualize and believe in your goals with a positive mindset, they will be fulfilled along the way.