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.


(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.

Start typing and press Enter to search