Vilhelm Lauritzen was born on September 10, 1894 in Slagelse, Denmark. He graduated from Sorø Academy in 1912 and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1922 and later that year, founded his studio Vilhelm Lauritzen. Study trips to Spain and Greece had a huge influence on his work, including his first major project, Daell’s Department Store – an architectural competition won in 1922 with fellow architect Frits Schlegel.
Generations of space and form
For Lauritzen, architecture was applied art to be enjoyed by the people – not the privileged. His drawings indicate a clear ideal of space and form that last through generations. With a starting point of an open mind and the functionality of each building, he created solutions so basic and simplistic, that brilliance in them.
To comprehend his groundbreaking architecture, it must be viewed in a timely context. Shape and ornamentation were architectural focal points in the late 19th and early 20th century. Vilhelm Lauritzen’s approach was all about usability.
An example is the first airport terminal (LINK) in Kastrup from the 1930’s. Commercial aviation was still new and there was no airport design typology. As a functionalist, he divided the building into airside and landside; entrance and traffic along the building on landside with aviation and gates following airside. Still today, this design remains predominant of the airports around the world.