Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter
Designing meaningful restrictions
Copenhagen, DK

Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter was founded by Søren Johansen and Sebastian Skovsted. The firm, from their office in Copenhagen, has gone on to become experienced in developing projects from the first sketch to the completed construction, seeking to bridge the gap between contemporary building processes and materials, and basic architectural values, through a synthesis of ideas, techniques and manufacturing methods.

A gradual start

We (Søren Johansen & Sebastian Skovsted) studied together and after spending a couple of years working in various firms, in Denmark and abroad, we decided to apply for a project for a specific Danish landscape. We sent in a bid for the project without really having thought through what we were starting. It was just about being allowed to do a project in-house and maybe take a leave of absence from our full-time jobs if it worked out. But then we won another project, and then a third, after which it became obvious that we were starting our own thing. By that time, we had already worked together for two years. It was something that just evolved more than a case of us sitting down and deciding to do this.


Designing the restrictions

In our approach to architecture, it is always about working with a certain type of material. It has to do primarily with a context, something that is already defined. It is when we make better choices that we have meaningful creative restrictions in our work. This narrow framework then becomes the basis for developing a project and we start looking at how to make it exciting and how to create a strong expression from this specific method. Right now we are working on a project with prefabricated concrete elements. Building it like this has been the premise right from the beginning, making creative obstacles.


Negotiating digital and analogue

A day can be a mix between site visits and meetings in-house and out of the office. Collaboration within all projects is highly valued in our office, and for us it is essential to follow and take time to work on all projects. In the starting phase, we often take a day off from digital working tools and turn off our phones to explore the first thoughts and ideas.


A vibrant workspace

Our studio is located in Copenhagen’s meatpacking district as a part of a creative office community and atelier. Shelving with models, books, and a various selection of material samples surrounds the office space. Bricks in different colours in the spectrum of yellow, red and brown are stacked on the floor. Concrete texture samples stand leaning against the wall. An interior test of panels and suspended ceiling is constructed around an opening, a mock-up model from our ongoing office and warehouse project in Køge, Denmark, which is occupying most of our time at the moment. In between the bricks and concrete samples, you can often find us sitting around the same computer together with the rest of the team, discussing and drawing in both digital and analogue formats.


Skjern River 01 Photo Rasmus Norlander Johansen Skovsted

Exhibition Currents Structures  Photo Laura Stamer Johansen Skovsted

Office and Warehouse Koge Photo Rasmus Norlander Johansen Skovsted

Skjern River 02 Photo Rasmus Norlander Johansen Skovsted

Photography Laura Boelskifte (profile image) and Rasmus Norlander

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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