In Memoriam: Professor Anders Abraham
Professor Anders Abraham died on 1 May at age of 55. His wife Christina Capetillo and his daughter Nora were with him to the very last.
Until his illness, Anders was a member of the KADK board. He had “a visionary, holistic view of KADK and was excellent at concentrating on its core mission: to educate and to conduct research and artistic development at the highest international level,” says KADK’s Rector, Lene Dammand Lund.
In Memoriam Professor Anders Abraham
Life offers us many paths and many ways of arriving at our calling and career. As a young man driven by interest and talent, Anders travelled to the United States to study architecture, becoming part of the landmark environment at Cooper Union in New York in the late 1980s. In 1993, after returning to Denmark, he set up his own practice. He went on to teach at Cooper Union and the Pratt Institute alongside important figures of the time.
Early on, Anders became a prominent figure at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture and in the world of Danish architecture. He was a staunch advocate of the role of art in architecture, had precise, acute opinions on how KADK should evolve and for many years was also an invaluable member of the institution’s board.
He knew that the voice of art and the insights it provides are the cornerstone of, and justification for the Academy’s existence. It was on this basis, for example, that Anders established the postgraduate Art and Architecture programme, involving Steen Høyer, Poul Ingemann and several other distinguished practitioners. Together with Christina Capetillo and Peter Bertram, he was also the brains behind Works+Words, a biennale focusing on artistic development projects.
Although Anders was a wonderful teacher and a vital figure in the life of the Academy, it was mainly his incredibly original, highly-qualified practice that defined his role in the world of architecture. His work serves as an inspiration to many, and their statements will undoubtedly continue to be a major force of attraction. Very few people who came into Anders’s presence could fail to be affected by his charisma and authority.
Anders’s professional qualities and significant achievements were countless, and this is not an appropriate context for an exhaustive list. We would rather emphasise the fact that Anders will be sorely missed by everyone who had contact with him, whether friends, colleagues, employees or students. He gave everyone his attention and treated them with empathy and respect. We have lost not only an excellent colleague and important professional, but also an exceptionally decent person.
It is not easy. However, many of us will retain fond memories of everything he gave us while he was here. So, his influence and work will live on and serve as an exemplary model of inspiration.
Rest in peace, while we dream of everything that should have been.
Peter Bertram (Associate Professor), Christoffer Harlang (Professor), Arne Høi (Head of Institute) and Jakob Brandtberg Knudsen (Dean of the School of Architecture).