Snøhetta, Norwegian Partners With Big Plans

Exploring Differing Perspectives

Photo of two men in hard hats and bright yellow-green reflective safety vests on a work site.
Kjetil Thorsen (l) and Craig Dykers (r) from Snohetta, 2010. Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images (cropped)

Founding partners Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and Craig Edward Dykers brought Snøhetta to America's attention in 2004 when their design for the Memorial Museum Pavilion was chosen as the entrance to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.

What is "Snøhetta"?

Snøhetta is an international group of architects, landscape architects, and interior designers with offices in Oslo, Norway and New york City.

The firm was founded in 1989 by architects from Norway and Los Angeles. They named the firm Snøhetta after a large mountain in Norway. Since its beginnings, Snøhetta Arkitektur-Landskap has envisioned building and design as an interconnected, holistic venture.


  • Craig Dykers
  • Kjetil T. Thorsen

In 2012, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored Dykers, Thorsen, and Liz Burow as .

Important Projects:

Snøhetta Philosophy and Process:

As much as Snøhetta wants their clients to think like architects, the partnership also is committed to thinking like their clients. Sustainability is both social and environmental. "Trends are routinely ignored and essence is actively pursued," they say on their website.

The Snøhetta approach of transpositioning is a way of doing things that crosses disciplines, "from architects to visual artists, philosophers to sociologists," encourages interconnections, and dismisses narrow thinking.

Snøhetta has won many high-profile competitions (e.g., the 9/11 Memorial Museum Atrium Pavilion), which exemplify their philosophy and approach to design and building. Integrating architecture and landscape is also seen in smaller projects, like the 2012 hunting lodge at Åkrafjorden built for Osvald M. Bjelland in Norway.

Web Site: Snøhetta

Sources: Snøhetta website [accessed May 15, 2014]; New Design Details for Memorial Museum Pavilion, September 9, 2008, at [accessed October 29, 2016]