PRP Now! Andrew Brandt // ADEPT

September 21, 2021
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I work at ADEPT in Copenhagen, Denmark. It's a firm of about 30 architects, urban planners, and landscape architects working at a variety of scales. The projects used to me be mostly in Denmark but changes to the competition selection process within Denmark have led us to seek work across Europe now, especially in Germany since we have recently opened a second office in Hamburg. We are actually going to visit the new office on a study trip in November! We are gearing up to move offices within the next year or two to a property we just purchased for rehabilitation in Nordvest from our current office in Norrebro. The current office is the top two floors of a gorgeous old building across the street from Copenhagen's most famous cemetery, our favorite place to eat lunch when the sun is out (basically never now).

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Copenhagen really is a dream (if you ignore the price of everything). There truly are bikes everywhere, there is a harbor bath just a stone's throw from my apartment, and the design culture here is quite prominent. It feels like every other block has some architecture project of note and the community of design professionals is large, inclusive, and incredibly well-connected. Winter is fast approaching but the month and a half I had of summer was pretty fantastic. It's almost too easy to get around here  - nothing is far by bike and the metro system is quite expansive. Car is honestly the slowest way to get anywhere.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
Coffee cup and tea mug from the canteen, muji pens, noise-canceling headphones, black licorice (slightly more valuable than gold here), and way too much scratch paper. I've been bouncing around between a couple of competitions and one commission as different deadlines approach; an 80.000 sqm apartment development in Frankfurt, a 12.000 sqm high school in Berlin, and a 20.000 sqm mixed density neighborhood in Aarhus are the primary ones. Just about all of the work I do is in the preliminary design phases of these projects which makes the work very fast-paced with high turnover but that means I never stall out on anything and the work always feels fresh.

PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
Very hard-working from 9 to 5 but even more serious about work-life balance; most folks leave by 5:30 and by 2:30 on Fridays (gotta love the 37-hour workweek). We all eat lunch together at the big conference table and hang out after work on Fridays, which is so crucial to becoming an efficient and positive team. My colleagues have been incredibly supportive getting me on board and are such a blast to work with. It really feels like a studio atmosphere in that you can bring whatever you're working on to anyone for input.

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
If you do PRP, go abroad 100%. Nothing can quite compare to fully-immersing yourself in a new culture, language, diet, workplace, workflow, and dimensional unit (hello metric system) at the same time. It's a great reminder of just how little we know about the rest of the world. It's eye-opening to see what architecture is like outside of the US and how differently things can be done, from detailing and business practice to workflow and work distribution. 

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
Judy Labib, my fellow UTSOA Dane, and I went to explore Malmo last weekend just across the sound, which was fantastic - Swedish meatballs live up to the hype. The forecast for this weekend is full rain (winter arrived during the time it took me to write this blurb) so it's looking like the full body rain suit is coming out for more city adventures by bike. There's plenty of museums I've been saving for wintertime so it'll likely be one or two of them.

PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I didn't think I would miss tacos this much and this fast. You can buy yoghurt by the carton here and DRINK IT from the very same carton.