Snøhetta is an international architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and brand design office based in Oslo, Norway and New York City and studios in San Francisco, California, Innsbruck, Austria, and Singapore. Craig Edward Dykers and Kjetil Trædal Thorsen are the two Founding Partners of the company. Snøhetta has approximately 150 designers working on projects around the world.
In 1987 the landscape architects Inge Dahlman, Berit Hartveit and Johan Østengen contacted landscape architects Alf Haukeland, and architects Øyvind Mo and Kjetil Trædal Thorsen to join together to make a collaborative studio. The idea was to incorporate architecture and landscape architecture into one design process. The studio was placed above a “brown” beer hall in Storgata in Oslo where they used to hang out. The beer hall is called “Dovrehallen” which means the “Dovre’s Hall”. Dovre is the mountain area where Snøhetta is the highest peak. The collaborative took the name Snøhetta arkitektur landskap.
Early in 1989 a convergence of events occurred. Kjetil Thorsen in Norway and Craig Dykers in Los Angeles had independently discussed working on the Egyptian Library of Alexandria Competition together with their mutual colleague Christoph Kapeller from Austria, who was now living in Los Angeles. By the summer of 1989 Snøhetta registered for participation in the design competition. At that time Craig had established his own small practice focused on collaboration amongst architects and artists in Los Angeles and had considered carrying out the competition design with another group. However, after further discussion, this group then agreed they would work on the competition together as a team. In the late summer of 1989 the team completed its self-made composition and a larger group of people came together to complete the competition in Los Angeles. The full team included from Norway the architect Øyvind Mo of Snøhetta and his friend Per Morten Josefson, along with Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, and from Los Angeles the team included architects Craig Dykers and Christoph Kapeller. In addition the architect Elaine Molinar from LA joined the team to assist in the work. The team also worked with the artist Jorunn Sannes from Norway who took on the task of the expression of the outer stone wall. The team also included the art historian Cordula Mohr to help with the text describing the project. Within a period of five weeks the group completed and delivered the competition, and won.
Toward the end of 1989 the Alexandria team and the team in Oslo, at this time also including the architect Martin Roubik, joined together in Oslo and the entire group moved into the office space above Dovrehallen.
Snøhetta has received the World Architecture Award for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the Aga Kahn Prize for Architecture for Alexandria Library. Since its completion in 2008, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet has also garnered the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Architecture and the EDRA (Environmental Design Research Association) Great Places Award, as well as the European Prize for Urban Public Space, The International Architecture Award and The Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2010.