”New colleagues are widely appreciated at the office. Partly because people are very aware how new ways of thinking are part of shaping our architectural work in a positive direction.”
Anne Katrine Arrildt is a new employee in C.F. Møller’s landscape department. Kristian Brandsen is a former intern and employee in C.F. Møller Lab - the main department involved with competition proposals.
Both of them know just how much a steep learning process is part of beginning work at a new place, however, both have also experienced how new perspectives and a fresh pair of eyes has a value of its own.
“At C.F. Møller the organizational structure is very flat and informal, which makes you feel at home and part of the team. Your ideas are discussed on equal terms with the ideas of the other team members, and projects are developed through discussions in framework of a team, not by individuals. The design phase is one of our strong points – here we choose the best idea, not the first available one. Personally, this is something I have appreciated a lot,” says Anne Katrine Arrildt.
When Kristian Brandsen got his internship at the C.F. Møller headquarters in Aarhus, he was studying in another Danish city. He decided to move to Aarhus for the duration of the internship, but as his internship came to end, the office offered him a paid trainee position, and he decided to take a leave of absence from his graduate program.
As an intern, he was surprised, positively, by the extent to which he became a part of the architectural work on equal terms with the rest of his colleagues.
“Commencing on a new project was characterized by an open exchange of ideas with thoughts and ideas being shared across the table and discussed. At this point of the process, the fact of being partner or intern didn’t matter, but focus was on the best idea.”
Speeding up professional development
Anne Katrine Arrildt is a graduate from the Aarhus School of Architecture. After her studies, she entered directly into a newly established position at C.F. Møller defined by standing with a foot in two camps, making links stronger between the landscape department and C.F. Møller Lab.
Here, she works on integrating landscape features and building contexts into new projects from day one. From her very first day of work, she has been involved in the development of the office’s winning proposal for the new Copenhagen Business School Campus (Campus In Society) and the proposal for a new acute care building at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen.
”As an employee, one of the advantages of working at a big architectural firm is the fact that you get to know lots of people throughout the industry. At the same time, you regularly get to see projects go from being merely sketches to real projects, and you are always surrounded by competent people with knowledge from all the aspects of the craft. This, of course, means that, as an architect, you speed up own professional development.”
A part of a team
Professional development as an architect and the fact of being a part of a team was also at the heart of Kristian Brandsen’s internship. Among other projects, he got to be part of the team on a new technical school and a new Danish super hospital. Here, he was part of the design process from the first rough designs to the production of the final presentation of the project.
"Common to all the projects I worked on was the fact that I became part of a team with a common goal. Because of that, being at the office was often an experience of work and social life fusing together,” he says.
“In periods it’s busy and at times it can get late, but a regular work day is a normal 9-16 – and flexibility is high. During the day, competent colleagues, people you can use as sounding boards, surround you. This is one of the reasons that my internship at C.F. Møller was one of the most worth-while experiences of my educaton.”