The Monthly European Architectural Newsletter
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March/April 2011

Archi-World® Academy, tomorrow is already here…

As an independent structure, Archi-Europe has existed for almost 15 years now, gaining credibility on a European level over the years. The constantly evolving website is visited frequently. In the next two years we will be implementing a new concept, which will be even more user-friendly, more interactive and easier to use by all members. Our purpose is evolving, thanks to our growing number of international contacts, particularly through Last Call for Planet Earth, our 2007 movie. Step by step, our know-how is expanding all over the world. To implement Archiworld®, we have created the Archi-World® Academy, an unparalleled competition on a planetary scale, aimed at tomorrow’s architects who will be responsible for sustainable architecture in the next fifty years. The Archi-World® Academy thus focuses on 450.000 students, our active future members! Addressing their concerns from previous competitions, we will give them the possibility of realising their dream, i.e. an internship with the masters of international architecture. Twelve professionals, leaders in their field, have responded with enthusiasm and will support a humanist project towards a better understanding among professionals. The Archi-World® Academy may also be considered an unprecedented selection tool which will provide these renowned architects with first-rate interns, selected through a very strict process.

Archiworld®’s credibility is primarily based on its active relationship with the TOP 500 international architects, confirming our team’s dynamism every day. We strive to develop our projects and ideas, particularly the Archi-World® Academy, without any high-priority financial motivation. Without a doubt, our greatest satisfaction is all these privileged moments with uncommon people!

The ArchiWorld® Team

Portrait of the month
Bijoy Jain
Studio Mumbai

The Work Place Studio Mumbai exhibition allowed Venice (Architecture Biennale) and subsequently Lausanne (EPFL Faculty) to discover the clearly ecological work and relevant concept of the Indian-born Bijoyn Jain, inspired by traditional know-how and local building technologies.

As an architect graduated from the Washington University in St Louis, USA (1990), Bijoy Jain (born in Bombay in 1965) worked with Richard Meier in Los Angeles before returning to his home country and establishing Studio Mumbai. Upon his return, after a 10-year absence, he discovered that India had become an economic giant and that his native city had become a megalopolis with 15 million inhabitants advocating hasty construction. Confronted with the anxiety of a booming city, Bijoy Jain decided to go against the grain, against soaring urbanisation, and to take the time to reflect on his projects, while being influenced by architect Laurie Baker (1917-2007). This British architect and naturalised Indian, famous for his architectural principles focused on eco-friendliness and sustainability, has produced a particularly diversified and extensive oeuvre (in Kerala alone he has constructed over 2000 buildings).

In other words, Studio Mumbai is not your typical architect’s firm. The concept development team consists of American architect Samuel Barclay, a carpenter and two masons. The constant interaction between architects and craftsmen is the most important aspect of Studio Mumbai’s work. It is an infrastructure essentially based on the human competences it consists of. Knowledge is exchanged, through imagination, complicity and modesty. Indeed, its philosophy is to re-establish a genuinely productive and creative dialogue between the different parties involved in a building’s construction. The workers, whose know-how is often passed on from generation to generation, are closely involved in each design phase. The architect considers them partners above all, and not just people who do the work. With this approach, everyone is ensured of the dignity and acknowledgement they deserve. Based on a pragmatic approach of architecture, Bijoy Jain’s ambition is to show that it is possible and even necessary to build, relying on this collective dialogue.

Ingeniously meeting the challenges posed by the limited resources, Bijoy Jain and his team have built houses with perfectly designed and mastered details over the past fifteen years. To visualise spaces, they prefer a plywood model of a small part of the building, as it will be designed, rather than an exact design, unlike most of the firms who develop a concept well before making a model.

Without wanting to return to Arts & Crafts, Bijoy Jain pursues a building ideal which goes against the flow: « It is important to continue doing the small things well, day after day, it is a slow process. Why are we fascinated by old things, by traditional methods? Maybe it’s because we have lost the ability to make disciplined choices. » The objective is not just to create a new building, but to capture the spirit of the place by choosing the right materials and by respecting the surrounding nature.

Driven by international recognition of the quality of his architectural work and the surprising maturity of his ecological principles, Bijoy Jain now takes up another challenge : he wants to work on major projects without changing the conditions, while maintaining an eco-friendly construction process. Nor does he want to run a firm of 200 people. « My head carpenter is the most important person in my studio. He works with dignity and has an eye for detail. I want to foster such people. To create this type of infrastructure which is open to the industry, that is what the studio is all about, » he confesses.

Bijoy Jain
© Prabuddha Das Gupta

Reading Room, Nagaon, Maharashtra, 2003
Protected by a large banyan tree, a wood skeleton building is integrated in an existing house. Shading encapsulates the structure, allowing light and air to penetrate the space.
© Michael Freeman



Tara House, Kashid, Maharashtra, 2005
Shared by several generations, the house is centred around a garden.
© Helene Binet

Tara House, Kashid, Maharashtra, 2005

Leti 360 Resort, Uttaranchal, 2007
Located on a promontory in the Indian Himalayas, the site is accessed via a narrow path. Five stone, wood and glass structures open onto unobstructed mountain vistas, forests and river valleys.
© Ryo Yung

The Palmyra House, Nandgaon, Maharashtra, India, 2007
Built in a coconut palm plantation an hour away from Bombay, Pamyra House is made of palm tree wood – an abundant resource – which is transformed on site and combined with recycled teak. The house is in osmosis with nature.
© Helene Binet

Research Center Pune, Maharashtra, 2008
A concrete structure houses eighteen laboratories connected by overhang footbridges on the outside, with a view of the two courtyards.

Belavali, Maharashtra, 2008
A single roof spans a series of mango trees. The undulating design follows terraced rice paddies, giving out on a large terrace, pool and mountain view.

Belavali, Maharashtra, 2008

House on Pali Hill, Bandra, Maharashtra, 2008
An existing house on a narrow plot was stripped until only the concrete skeleton remained. The surrounding trees and wood screens create an intimate setting and ensure protection against the urban environment of Mumbai.
© Studio Mumbai

House on Pali Hill, Bandra, Maharashtra, 2008

Trinity Guest House, Kochin, Kerala, 2008
The project is a five-room extension of an existing bed & breakfast, within the historic setting of Fort Cochin. The extension is connected to the existing building by a narrow concrete causeway, designed to preserve two magnificent trees on the site.

Trinity Guest House, Kochin, Kerala, 2008

Utsav House, Satirje, Maharashtra, 2008
On an open plateau, four black basalt walls surround a shaded courtyard with pools, pavilions and gardens.
Utsav House, Satirje, Maharashtra, 2008

Project of the month

The 8 House, Copenhagen
Arch.: BIG

As the third phase of a major project, this housing development creates urban density on the borders of Copenhagen. The project, following the example of other projects by the Danish firm BIG, is a strong architectural experience, deliberately departing from the standards and formalism.

After the VM Houses and The Mountain, The 8 House is the third project developed by Bjarke Ingels and his team in the Ørestad quarter. This mixed building – the largest private project ever undertaken in Denmark – comprises 61,000 m² of buildings in the shape of a knot, combining accommodations of varying sizes, shops, offices, small gardens, paths and protected spaces.

Rather than design a traditional block, the architects mixed all the ingredients of a bustling urban quarter where suburban life merges with the energy of a large city. These different typologies are connected by a continuous promenade. The cycling track goes up to the 10th floor.

The convoluted plan creates two intimate inner courtyards, with 500 m² of common areas for all the residents at its centre. A nine-metre-wide passage runs through the building there, allowing the residents to freely access the park. The housing and shopping accommodations are not divided into distinct areas, but laid out rather horizontally. The commercial properties are located at the bottom of the building, while the residences are located on the higher floors. This gives the different horizontal layers their inherent quality: the apartments enjoy sunlight and a view of the open spaces, while the offices and shops merge with street life. The building is literally pulled upwards in the northeastern corner and downwards in the southwestern corner, allowing light and air to enter the southern courtyard. Totalling 1,700 m², the green roofs are strategically placed to give the project its visual identity and to link it to the adjacent farmlands. To Bjarke Ingels, founding member of BIG, it is a three-dimensional quarter and not an architectural object. It is a row of houses twisting along the street, going upwards and then backwards again a bit farther. Social life, encounters and spontaneous interaction are traditionally reserved for the ground floor, but this project allows development on several levels. The 8 House is an example of architectural alchemy. It is a mixture of traditional ingredients (retail shops, houses and apartments), made in a non-traditional manner which truly creates added value.

Product of the month
A New Generation: Side Sectional Doors

25 years of progress - Happy Birthday, Side Sectional Door

1986 – A quarter of a century ago, Mikhail Gorbachev called for the West to lay down its nuclear arms and demanded a greater expansion of glasnost. Pop diva Lady Gaga and Manuel Neuer, the goalkeeper for Germany’s national team, were born. So what was happening at Normstahl? Normstahl sprang a real surprise with its new type of door – the Normstahl Side Sectional Door!

25 years on, we’ve given the Side Sectional Door a birthday present by adapting it to the changed requirements of the market. It was by tackling the latest hot topics in the construction industry head on – namely, insulation, heat insulation and impermeability – that the new version of the Side Sectional Door came into being. The insulated sections with full surface finish have stood the test of the years and continue to form the basis for the door even today. Modifications and improvements have been made to the sealing at all the key points. More durable, harder brush seals that are also water-repellent enhance the door’s insulation properties to a considerable degree. Yet another new feature is the guide rail at the bottom: either the existing rail or the new guide rail, measuring just 15 mm in height, can be used depending on the customer’s requirements. Its design enables the door to travel across it with ease. Meanwhile, brush guides are used to ensure the door runs just as smoothly as it always has: each time the door is moved, the brushes sweep dust and small stones out of the way. That’s sure to allay the doubts of many customers who are worried that the rail needs to be cleaned all the time.

Magic 600 & Magic 1000
The new garage door operators

Normstahl’s new generation of garage door operators is launched on 1st February 2011, exactly 10 years after the introduction of the Ultra series. Faster, stronger and more beautiful!

What’s new and what’s not?
The toothed belt has truly stood the test of time as an operating mechanism and will be used to move doors of all types in the future too. However, the interaction between the operator motor and toothed belt has been optimised: the operator now applies its power directly to the operator wheel without the use of an intermediate gear. The benefit of this is that no friction is lost and, therefore, no power is lost as a result. The operator wheel is also ball bearing-mounted, ensuring a quiet and smooth mechanism. Even the toothed belt will be easier to tension in future: the rail structure has been modified so that the belt can be tensioned at the readily accessible head of the operator. The fact that the abutment of the door operator is now ball bearing-mounted too helps to keep friction losses to a minimum and maximise power transmission in return! The head of the operator can be installed according to the customer’s requirements and the type of door system in use. Depending on the installation situation, 90° or even 180° rotation is possible. The system can be quickly adapted to suit to a variety of different installation situations, especially those where Side Sectional Doors are being used or garages are extremely short. It’s a user-friendly solution that installers will particularly love.

For more information:

Events in the spotlight
Mosbuild – your route to thousands of producers, suppliers and distributors

MosBuild is a showcase for the latest products that the building and interiors industry has to offer, from core components to new technologies and exclusive decor and fittings. The show is a great opportunity to compare products and services, and meet their manufacturers.

Being Russia’s largest exhibition, MosBuild offers entire spectrum of products and services within the industry displayed across two of Moscow’s largest exhibition venues, Crocus Expo and Expocentre.

Come and visit Archi-Europe in the Expocentre stand F265!

for more information:

17 – 20 April 2011
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

CityBuild Abu Dhabi

CityBuild Abu Dhabi is the leading building and construction event of the year. The construction boom has slowed down in the UAE as it has elsewhere but there are still 1,600 projects worth over US$560 billion in execution or about to start construction. CityBuild will once again be co-located with the 5th edition of Cityscape Abu Dhabi – a winning formula that offers the unique and unrivalled benefit of a guaranteed audience of decision makers from the real estate industry.

Come and visit Archi-Europe at CityBuild!

Click here to attend the exhibition for free.
Please pre-register and you will receive an URN number, print this page and bring it with you to the exhibition and you will be allowed entry.

for more information:

17 – 20 April 2011
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2011

Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2011, now moving into its 5th year, provides THE best arena for the real estate industry to showcase projects and services, network with key investors and developers from around the world and participate in content driven discussions with industry leaders.

Click here to attend the exhibition for free.
Please pre-register and you will receive an URN number, print this page and bring it with you to the exhibition and you will be allowed entry.

for more information:

Competitions in the spotlight


Archi-World® Academy

The first worldwide architecture contest for students in architecture
Archi-World® Academy Award (AWA) 2011/2013: "Energy-saving projects and ideas for the future of architecture and urbanism".

Win a top class traineeship in a leading architecture practice by one of the 12 star architects: Zaha Hadid, Françoise-Hélène Jourda, Bjarke Ingels, J-M Jaspers, Francine Houben, Daniel Libeskind, Kengo Kuma, Mario Cucinella, Christoph Ingenhoven, Jain Bijoy, Ma Yansong, Andry Bokov.

Registration is open starting April 15th 2011.

for more information:


Saie Selection 2011

BolognaFiere and Archi-Europe jointly organize a special contest "SAIESelection" in order to select 24 projects and concepts (12 for young architects and 12 for students) on the theme “Innovating, Integrating, Building Highly innovative and sustainable buildings".

All 24 projects and/or concepts will be presented in a special dedicated exhibition ‘Cuore Mostra Saie 2011’ in the framework of the SAIE International Building Exhibition taking place in Bologna (Italy) from October 5 to October 8, 2011.

for more information:

(04 - 08/04/2011) - Hannover (DE)
(28/04 - 01/05/2011) - Brussels (BE)
(28/04 - 08/05/2011) - Paris (FR)
Anne Schwalbe - Blindschleiche und Riesenblatt
(31/03 - 11/05/2011) - Amsterdam (NL)
(14 - 26/05/2011) - Vienna (AT)
Italo Zannier photographer
(17/04 - 13/06/2011) - Florence (IT)
(15 - 17/04/2011) - Katowice (PL)
(03 - 07/05/2011) - Madrid (PT)
>> read more
Project of the Year and the Emilio Ambazs Award for Green Architecture
Deadline: 30/03/2011
DawnTown Miami 2011
Deadline: 11/04/2011
One Prize 2011: Water as the sixth borough
Deadline: 30/04/2011
BA AWARD 2011 (Biological Architecture Foundation - Futuristic Water and the bioreef diversity theory - City design Competition)
Deadline: 15/05/2011
>> read more

Theatres and Concert Halls
Dream and Reality

Birgit Schmolke

424 pages | € 78.00
DOM publishers
ISBN 978-3-938666-94-4 
ISBN 978-3-938666-62-3

>> read more
Yes is More
Une bande dessinée sur l'évolution architecturale

400 pages | € 19.99
Editions Taschen
ISBN 9978-3-8365-2526-8

>> read more
The Architecture of Knowledge
The Library of the Future
Lev Manovich, Bart Verschaffel, Pim van den Berg, Markus Miessen and others
124 pages | € 29.50
NAI Publishers
English / Dutch
ISBN 978-90-5662-747-8
>> read more

Copyright 2011 Archi-Europe Group nv/sa
Responsible Editor: Jacques Allard | Chief Editor: Marie-Claire Regniers
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