White in Germany: Fredrik Larsson and Martin Arvidsson on how to build a studio

When we opened our Stuttgart studio in 2021, the architects Fredrik Larsson and Martin Arvidsson were recruited to build it. Only a year and a half later, the studio has twelve employees. We interviewed Fredrik and Martin to find out more about the development of the studio, building a team and what the future plans look like.

Martin Arvidsson and Fredrik Larsson have been living and working as architects in Germany for 28 and 15 years respectively, which has been a great help in the development of the studio in Stuttgart. Local knowledge is an essential piece of the puzzle for successfully entering a new market, especially when the role of being an architect in Germany and in Sweden is rather different. In Germany, for example, the architect is responsible for delivering a completed building, and not just drawings. Therefore, it has been important to recruit locally, and Martin and Fredrik’s network have been a great asset in the recruitment process. As directors of the studio, Martin and Fredrik, have played a central role in building the team, which today consists of twelve colleagues.

– Thanks to our many years in Germany, we both have valuable networks that have been useful in building the team we are today, says Fredrik Larsson, Architect and Director of White’s studio in Stuttgart.

Both Martin and Fredrik explain that the recruitment has exceeded expectations and that the success is due to a combination of a broad network, good knowledge of the local market and a strong brand. Many people who apply to the studio already know White.

The fact that we are White Arkitekter has made a huge difference in our recruitment. The persons applying know us and want to work here because we are White Arkitekter. They have high expectations of us as a professional workplace, where our sustainability agenda, interdisciplinary approach and the fact that we are an employee-owned practice appeal to many. This is also something that differentiates us from German offices.
Martin Arvidsson, Architect and Director of White's Stuttgart studio

– At the same time, our studio is something that we build and develop together with our employees. Many of them are also very interested in becoming shareholders, Martin continues.

Fredrik Larsson and Martin Arvidsson

Knowledge sharing between markets
Just like Sweden, Germany is at the forefront of sustainability issues. Our vision, that all our architecture will be climate neutral through design excellence by 2030, is being put into practice by transforming existing buildings, but also by building in wood. Examples of this include the studio’s work on the transformation of the old Heinzelmann factory and industrial estate in Reutlingen and the Haus Hynspeng housing project in Liederbach, which is being built in wood.

There is a demand for the sustainability perspective in projects, but it is important to find concrete and practical solutions in order to get the developer on board and make the most of the demand. Both Fredrik and Martin see great potential to benefit from the expertise that exists within the company.

White's interdisciplinary approach is ideally suited to Germany. Here you can't be clear and radical enough to position yourself in sustainability.
Martin Arvidsson

Martin and Fredrik also hope to be able to exchange experience and knowledge with White’s offices around the world on other issues.

– We are a team that builds this together, the collective thinking is something that our employees appreciate. Going forward, we look forward to further broadening our contact with our offices in Sweden and internationally. Through an increased exchange of knowledge, we can collaborate even more and benefit from the fact that we are a large company. This is something that our employees are interested in, says Fredrik.

A built house – the best advertising
The studio’s focus areas are transformation, schools and healthcare, reflecting what will happen in Germany in the future. Today, the studio has four ongoing projects, which Martin and Fredrik describe as a fantastic prerequisite. However, they believe there will be a shift the day it is possible to use built references to win new commissions.

– The projects we are working on now bode well for our focus areas being in the fields where we will have the most construction activity in the future. By eventually being able to use built references, it will be easier to get a foot in the door of different assignments, says Martin.

Our goals for 2023 include running competitions from here but also getting into the early stages of projects. Haus Hynsperg is the first White project to be built in Germany. When it is completed, we will be able to use it as a reference to grow even further and achieve these goals. Built references are crucial to be able to sell and thus continue to develop the studio. A built house is the best advertisement we can get.
Fredrik Larsson, Architect and Director of White’s studio in Stuttgart

Contact Person

Fredrik Larsson

Fredrik Larsson

Director

Stuttgart

+49 172 387 60 62

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