The Henrik Frode Obel Foundation has three main goals:
– to present the annual OBEL AWARD in order to honour and recognise exceptional architectural contributions to human development.
– to present exhibitions and events in order to stimulate debate about the role of architecture and to promote the circulation of new ideas across disciplines and continents.
– to award internationalisation funds and travel grants to students of architecture in order to promote architectural excellence and a global perspective within academia.
The foundation is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and founded by Henrik Frode Obel (1942-2014).
The foundation has a board of governors and a secretariat.
Both the study grants and the award are granted on the basis of nominations.
HENRIK FRODE OBEL
(21 October 1942 – 7 February 2014)
Although born into one of Denmark’s leading business families, Henrik Frode Obel had a strong ambition early in life to earn his own fortune. At a young age, he left his home in Aalborg and set out to see the world.
Henrik Frode Obel went on to start his own company in Madrid, PCI Pest Consult International, and became a successful businessman living and working abroad all his adult life. He spoke numerous languages and was known as a sociable, somewhat eccentric, quality conscious bonvivant with an international outlook and lifestyle. He had a keen eye for aesthetics and quality, and throughout his life, he purchased and renovated several old, beautiful buildings.
As the culmination of a life dedicated to the appreciation of art, culture, design, and architecture, Henrik Frode Obel decided to dedicate his entire fortune to establish a foundation to reward exceptional works of architecture – and so to contribute in his own way to the development of architecture and design.
His travels and first-hand knowledge of the world also inspired Henrik Frode Obel to assign a sum of his fortune to travel bursaries for students of architecture and design. In this way, he could help new generations achieve architectural excellence and a global perspective.
Where do the funds come from?
The Henrik Frode Obel Foundation draws on the endowment left by Henrik Frode Obel. Each year, a portion of the proceeds from the endowment goes to the award prize sum, the travel grants, the internationalisation funds, and the exhibitions, lectures, and other events to promote the circulation of new ideas.
Who can apply for the funds?
Both the award, the travel grants, and the internationalisation funds are granted solely on the basis of nominations by trusted experts. Candidates cannot apply.
Is the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation related to the Obel Family Foundation?
No. Although Henrik Frode Obel was a member of the Obel family, the foundations are separate. The Obel Family Foundation is a national foundation, operating exclusively within Denmark, while the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation has an international focus and reach.