Few contemporary architects have shaped the global profession as emphatically — and as poetically — as Craig Dykers. As one of the founding partners of Snøhetta, he has led the design of landmark projects around the world, including the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, New York City’s National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion, and the Toronto Metropolitan University Student Learning Centre, to name just a few. Along the way, he has stood at the vanguard of architectural possibility. This year, Craig Dykers will be the Guest of Honour at the 2023 AZ Awards Gala.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1961, Dykers has lived in both Europe and North America extensively. Following initial studies in art and medicine, he received a bachelor’s degree in architecture at the University of Texas at Austin in 1985. After working as a designer in Texas and California, he co-founded Snøhetta in Oslo in 1989, and established a New York office in 2004.
Over the last three decades, Dykers has become a leading global practitioner. In the firm’s home city, for example, the Oslo Opera House is one of the defining buildings of the 21st century. Completed in 2008 — and home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet — the iceberg-shaped waterfront complex exemplifies Snøhetta’s penchant for innovative, adventurous form-making that’s rooted in a deep sensitivity to local culture and public life.
In a city where natural light is precious, the angular form invites visitors to climb atop the 1,100-room structure (which is anchored by a 1,364-seat auditorium). A paean to the waterfront strolls enjoyed by Oslo residents on sunlit days, the design effectively expands the public realm up and across the building to create a democratic — and delightfully whimsical — public venue, and one that feels like a natural extension of the city’s fjord.
While Dykers’ portfolio is highly varied and attuned to local contexts, the celebration of public life and community spirit animates his work around the world. It is a sensibility that shines through across a variety of scales — ranging from California’s legendary The French Laundry restaurant to marquee public buildings. In Canada, the Calgary Central Library — one of Azure’s favourite Canadian buildings of the past decade — is a case in point. Inspired by the chinooks that sweep through the prairie city, the warm and sinuous wood interior seamlessly combines a home for physical and digital collections with a sociable, mixed-use community hub that also incorporates transit infrastructure at grade.
Dykers’ work has been recognized with a wealth of international awards, including the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Architecture, the World Architecture Award, and the Aga Kahn Award for Architecture, among many others. Dykers has also served as a Diploma Adjudicator at the Architectural College in Oslo and in recent years has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Syracuse University, Cornell University, Parsons and Washington University in St. Louis.
Dykers has lectured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturers, a LEED accredited professional, and a member of the American and Norwegian Institutes of Architects.
We are delighted to welcome Craig Dykers at the 2023 AZ Awards gala on June 23, taking place at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. Get your tickets now!
The 2023 AZ Awards is presented by Caesarstone, Keilhauer and Landscape Forms and sponsored by Ciot and Colombo Design America. Gala sponsors are George Brown College’s Brookfield Sustainability Institute, Dark Tools and Scavolini.
Media Partners: Archello, ArchDaily, Archilovers, Archinect, Archiproducts, The Architect’s Newspaper, Architonic, Bustler, Design Week Mexico, INDEX Design, Kollectif, v2com newswire and World-Architects.
Joining in this year’s AZ Awards Gala celebration will be Azure’s Guest of Honour, globally acclaimed architect Craig Dykers.