Snøhetta tackles financial problems

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Norway’s internationally renowned architecture firm, Oslo-based Snøhetta, has logged record losses for 2010 and needs to raise capital from new investors. The firm, however, continues to be involved in prestigious projects and its 9/11 Memorial Museum will open in New York this weekend.

“It was the worst year we’ve ever had,” Snøhetta owner and director Kjetil Trædal Thorsen told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). He blamed the loss of NOK 24.8 million on problems with two large jobs in the Middle East and a stream of new assignments that was too thin.

The firm has been undergoing major restructuring as a result of last year’s negative result and logged positive results during the first half of this year. More capital is still needed to secure continued operations, reported DN, and Snøhetta seeks an investor who can inject new funds into the firm.

Thorsen and partner Craig Dykers own 96 percent of Snøhetta and are prepared to reduce their holdings. “We’re looking at new financing … we need new capital to be able to take part in architectural competitions and invest in winning new jobs,” Thorsen told DN. He said Snøhetta was in dialogue with potential new investors with an interest in architecture.

Snøhetta first won international attention with its library in Alexandria, Egypt. The firm has since been behind several prestigious projects including the widely acclaimed Opera House in Oslo.

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