Since cofounding Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in 1987, Morten Schmidt has developed a diverse portfolio of work and expertise in the planning and design of major libraries and cultural facilities across the globe, bringing an innovative, rational and clear design leadership to many of the practice’s highest profile projects. He has amassed extensive experience as lead design architect for public architecture, responding to complex briefs, collaborating with multiple stakeholders, and consulting with both client groups and the public as part of the design development process, all while navigating within these complex processes with a unique brand of imaginative brilliance. His expertise includes creating and communicating compelling design visions, advocating for design excellence, and building for enduring quality.
Morten’s early education in a Waldorf school, which emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, is a foundation for the spirituality, creativity and artistic freedom that permeate his work. Under his leadership, Schmidt Hammer Lassen has won the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for the Halifax Central Library in Canada (2016) and the EU Award for Best Collaboration for Dokk1 library in Denmark (2012). Morten is the lead designer responsible for Christchurch Central Library in New Zealand (2018), the State Library Victoria redevelopment in Australia (2020) and the Shanghai East Library in China (2020). Over the past twenty years, Morten has worked on the Highlands Branch Library in Edmonton, Canada (2013), the Halmstad (2006) and Växjö City (2003) libraries in Sweden, as well as the extension to the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark (1999).
Furthermore, Morten has been the partner responsible for the Katuaq Culture Centre in Greenland, the Sir Duncan Rice Library in Scotland and the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark. Currently, Morten is involved in the design of an extension to the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in collaboration with famed American light artist James Turrell. The ambitious expansion plan will bring the museum into the world of elite modern art museums.
Morten continues to participate as a jury member, guest lecturer and critic on issues of architecture, future libraries, urbanism and sustainable design. In addition, Morten judges architectural competitions, and is an external examiner at the School of Architecture in Aarhus and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.