We specialise in urban design projects that strengthen communities and enhance the experience of public space

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COLLABORATION

We are brilliant partners!

INCLUSIVITY

We listen to everyone!

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OPTIMISM

Our work leads

to a better future!

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COMMUNITY

We love people

and places!

Schulze+Grassov is a multi-skilled urban design studio based in Copenhagen and operating worldwide. Led by architects Oliver Schulze and Louise Grassov, our practice was founded with the aim of facilitating a new blueprint for urban life. Our team is a diverse mix of designers, architects, researchers and landscape architects – united by a shared desire to shape the cities of the future. 

We work with developers, architects, institutions and cities around the world to design and consult on community-focused urban schemes that are environmentally and socially sustainable, and which enrich the everyday lives of the people that use them.  

Founders' stories

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Louise Grassov told stories and built stuff from an early age. An interest in narrative structure, honed by long hours of drawing, was complemented by a fascination with how things are constructed, acquired from her father, a flight mechanic. Although she was tempted into a career in film, her twin interests in construction and storytelling converged in architecture, when Louise enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

Oliver Schulze’s fascination with public space began when the Berlin Wall fell. For any 18-year-old in Germany in 1989, it was a monumental moment, but for Oliver it triggered a lifelong curiosity about the relationship between people and the urban environment. The Wall crumbling represented the local impact of seismic societal change – showing public space as a theatre for social transformation and a platform for positive and negative sentiment.

Our core expertise

Two decades of urban research at leading universities in Europe and North America underpins our work. We leverage knowledge in urban design practice by drawing on state-of-the art technology to facilitate smarter processes and in order to design smarter cities. Frequently, the services we deliver go beyond the professional boundaries historically established in urban development. 

Louise’s vision of architecture evolved in response to what she saw as ‘arrogance’ in the modern discipline, which was prone to elevating individualism and attention-grabbing buildings over social benefit. She believed in a more modest philosophy of public architecture, one that was driven by the user’s experience more than the architect’s ego. An encounter with Jan Gehl during her studies convinced her that such an approach was possible, and after studying with Gehl for four years in the urban design department, the seeds of Schulze+Grassov

were planted.
 
Her determination to pursue a bigger-picture approach to urban design led her to join the nascent Gehl Architects soon after graduating. Here, she spent 12 years shaping the practice’s methodology, formalising the relationship between architectural theory and real-world practice, and developed her fascination for the ‘life between buildings’. In 2013, she left Gehl to explore this more deeply as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley with Peter Bosselmann and then joined forces, with Oliver, as Schulze+Grassov, where she continues building stories today.
 
Louise is a visiting professor in landscape architecture and urban design at University of Washington in Seattle in the US.

This experience led Oliver to the UK, where he spent six years studying architecture at the University of Manchester, began his professional career and later taught at the University of Liverpool. In 1996 he was in Manchester when the IRA bombings destroyed much of the city centre, and in the years afterwards as the city was rebuilt. Witnessing Manchester’s regeneration showed Oliver that we have the potential to redesign our cities as complete ecosystems rather than individual buildings, and to reshape our lives as a result.

 

Oliver’s career then took him to Copenhagen, where he was hired by Louise to join the team at Gehl Architects. As director at Gehl, he led a succession of award-winning and high-profile public-space projects around the world. After eight years, he and Louise left Gehl to pursue their shared vision of a hands-on, nimble and human-centred design practice that would actively enhance urban environments: Schulze+Grassov.  

 

Oliver is a visiting professor in urban design at Washington University in St Louis in the US. 

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Our core expertise

Two decades of urban research at leading universities in Europe and North America underpins our work. We leverage knowledge in urban design practice by drawing on state-of-the art technology to facilitate smarter processes and in order to design smarter cities. Frequently, the services we deliver go beyond the professional boundaries historically established in urban development.