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Architecture & design

From Mies van der Rohe to Arne Jacobson, from Marcel Breuer to Alvar Aalto, many architects, during the twentieth century, were involved in product design, most often considering this approach as a necessity. This trend is not new. Many decades ago, when it was difficult to find on the market all the furniture adapted to his needs, Norman Foster decided to create an industrial design department. What starteiture manufacturer Tecno. From now onwards, this design unit takes up a privileged position in the Foster & Partners office, and at the same time, regularly supports the architectural projects, whilst outside, it cooperates with industrial partners to develop new products. In May 2016, a special exhibition was organized in London to underline this activity. Architects are more and more solicited by manufacturers. Formed to develop longd as an office’s personal conception - the Nomos table – has become a reference for the furn term or large buildings, they rapidly wanted to get involved in smaller scale activities. Today, design seems to be a natural extension for the international offices. Contemporary architects are responsible for the interior elements of their construction, including the sanitary ware and the door handles. For Daniel Liebeskind, Matteo Thun, Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, industrial design work is also very important. Zaha Hadid Architects claims a similarity with ideas and principles used in architecture. « Furniture is part of our directory since the beginning », underlines the design department spokesman. Same objective for Massimiliano & Dorian Fuskas, who, since 2000 with Alessi, are active in product creation, as referred to in the book « Fuskas: Object ».If many prefer interdisciplinary teams, other are almost exclusively involved in design, like for instance, Patricia Urquiola, Piero Lissoni or also Ron Arad. Probably dreaming of the possibility to enter the « classics » hall of fame. It is true that Gio Ponti, Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and other mythical figures go on seducing with their production. A rapid glance at the recent trends in Milan’s last Design Week confirms this approach. The big brands didn’t miss this opportunity by multiplying the re-edition of cult objects.

The Archi-Europe team

Portrait of the month

1 Matteo Thun

2 Vigilius Mountain Resort

3 Pergola Residence

4 Hugo Boss Business Unit

5 Biomass Power Plant

6 Tortona 37

7 Social Housing

8 JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

9 Bürgenstock Healthy Living

10 Waldkliniken Eisenberg

11 Davines Headquarters

Matteo Thun

Showing a real respect for the environment, a deep understanding of materials and a preference for formal sobriety, Matteo Thun’s work mixes local traditions with new technologies in order to create sustainable solutions.

Graduated architect in 1975, after studying at the Salzburg University of Applied Arts with the Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka and at the Florence University, Matteo Thun (Bolzano 1952) starts his professional activity with the Italian architect Adolfo Natalini. In 1978, he moves to Milan, works with the architect and designer Ettore Sottsass and becomes partner of Sottass Associati. It is the period of the Memphis group’s great adventure, when they made a revolution at the beginning of the eighties in the approach of design. Matteo was part of the group as well as Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele de Lucchi and Michael Graves. In1984, he leaves the group to create his own office in Milan, which becomes in 2001 « Matteo Thun & Partners », an office active in architecture and interior architecture projects, as well as in the conception of products on an international scale. He is associated with Luca Colombo for Italian architecture projects and interior designs (MLTC), with the Antonio Rodriguez office for product designing (MTD-R), and then in Shanghai (MTD-R China, open in 2015). In 25 years, Matteo Thun & Partners have consolidated their success and reputation, thanks to a talented team of about 70 architects, decorators, stylists, product and graphic designers.The continuous interdisciplinary challenge is the office’s winning formula.

His working activity is very large, going from master plans to hotels, from boutiques to furniture, from restaurants’ interiors to lighting. Projects based on a constructive dialogue and narrow links with the local context. This enables to create a long life architecture. By preserving the environment sustainability whilst keeping an eye on the costs, MTLC favours also local natural materials and looks for energy efficiency with low-tech solutions. The creative approach of Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez in the product design allows simplified forms and the use of warm and natural materials. A special attention is given to the hotel sector. One of the first creations for the hotel industry, the Side Hotel in Hamburg (2001), is the result of an international and interdisciplinary cooperation between Matteo Thun, Jan Störmer and the director and scenograph Robert Wilson (New York).
The strictness of the stone façade hides an eight story atrium in the heart of the building, bathed with light. Another famous hotel followed : the Vigilius Mountain Resort in Merano, in the Adige valley, reinterpreting the local constructions in wood, stone, clay and glass in symbiosis with the mountain landscape. Awarded prizes (for instance, the Gold Panda of WWF and the Lega ambiente of the Lombard Region in 2006), this « de luxe » hotel, finished in 2003, with two floors above ground, gently follows the contours of the mountain.An accessible landscaped roof helps prevent overheating, adjustable shutters on all the glazed façades, biomass heating using wood waste from the local forest(pellets), clay walls for the rooms and suites to regulate the temperature, contribute to an energy saving climate management.
Also situated in the Merano valley, with view on the dolomites, the Pergola Residence Hotel features the traditional pergola style with an all-timber construction typical of the region. The terraced building perfectly adapts to the slope of the hills, integrating with the landscape while reducing its exposed surface and thus heat loss. With local building materials, a sustainable architecture contributing to climate management : thermal insulation, south facing glazed façades and green roofs.

More specific, the Bürgenstock Healthy Living project - normally it should be ready in 2019 – will have 161 suites and a 4800 sqm of space for wellness and medical services.The hotel immersed in the forest overlooks the Lucerne Lake and offers panoramic views on the mountains.The architect has chosen to integrate the complex in the nature by using local stone and a façade with a wooden lattice structure. Green roofs regulating temperature and southern exposure ensure a high level of energy efficiency. The construction works for the biggest and leading orthopaedic university hospital in Europe- Waldkliniken Eisenberg-are going on. Realized with HDR TMK, the health specialist, this 264 bed project insists on the narrow relation between physical space, hospitality and patient care at a rarely seen level.
In Switzerland, in the Ticino Canton, the Hugo Boss offices, with more than 300 persons active in the company’s production, logistics and distribution management, are hosted in a three overground level glazed volume, flooded with natural light and wrapped with a wooden latticework. This larch weaving symbolizes first of all the textile history of the « ready-to-wear » icon and also the relation between the landscape and the building.The choice of prefabricated materials (concrete and timber structures) is the basis of a project featuring systems and sustainable technologies for energy and climate management. The three-layer façade plays a key role in this regard.
In Parma, a village welcoming two-story houses gathering around a luxuriant garden with greenhouses, this is what the new Davines’( a haircare company) headquarters look like. In Schwendi (Germany), the Biomass Power Plant is veiled on the top half by a larch exterior circular screen. This structure softens the glass reflection and glare, provides shade and adds a natural contrast to the cube’s transparent surfaces. A long shed parallel to the slope houses a loading dock where organic materials are sorted and mixed and then transported underground where the combustion takes place. Heat for the building and a nearby hospital, as well as electricity for1450 single-family houses , are produced using an Organic Rankine Cycle Machine.

When building the social housings in Treviso, Matteo Thun & Partners’ ambition was to respect the maximum cost of €1000 per sqm, imposed by the law, but also to add comfort and beauty. External walkways on one side of the building and a traditional façade equipped with a wooden brise-soleil on the other side, guarantees a double exposure to all the apartments. The prefabricated timber reduces construction time and costs, while offering an optimized insulation for energy saving. The project Tortona 37 is part of the rehabilitation plan for the Tortona district in Milan. Thanks to a cutting edge energy efficient technology, this former industrial plant of 25000 sqm has become a mixed-purpose architectural complex composed of five buildings, with a double exposure on six levels, set out like a courtyard around a garden planted with trees. An overhanging white lattice on the façade frames the wide glass windows of the entire complex, which culminates up on the roof with a large terrace. Environmental matters are not forgotten : wooden shutters reducing up to 87% the impact of solar light, the geothermal exploitation of the underground Milan waters, with environmental proven advantages, representing a source of energy and a mixed system of panels and radiant ceilings, with a very low energy consumption.

Let’s come back to the hotel activity with a recent project, which, after receiving many awards in 2015, was a laureate of the 2016 MIPIM Award, in the « Best hotel and touristic complex » category. Situated on an artificial island of the Venice laguna, including a certain amount of buildings of the beginning of the twentieth century, the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa wants to preserve the laguna landscape by using local materials, which Matteo Thun reinterprets without any nostalgy while keeping the place’s authenticity. The zone of an old hospital built in 1936 becomes a « de luxe » hotel with 230 suites surrounded by a park and different brick buildings hosting suites, spas, swimming pools and treatment installations. The building and the complex management are part of the « Three Zero » policy, meaning zero kilometers, zero CO2 emissions and zero waste.
For each project, Matteo Thun attentively observes the environment , the « genius loci ». Consequently, his architecture is made of « local traditions and new technologies in order to create sustainable solutions, save resources, and generate measurable economic results, while contributing to beauty » As to the design, the furniture, the lighting pieces or bathroom fittings, he creates an emotional link and generates value to the objects by transforming them into timeless objects. « We create products telling ideas. They are a simple gesture architecture to serve a daily life going well beyond our present life.

1 Matteo Thun
Photo © Nacho Alegre

2 Vigilius Mountain Resort, Merano, Lana (IT) 2001 – 2003
Photo © Vigilius Mountain Resort SPA

3 Pergola Residence, Merano, Algund (IT) 2002 – 2004
Photo © Pergola Residence

4 Hugo Boss Business Unit, Coldrerio (CH) 2005 – 2006
Photo © Klaus Frahm

5 Biomass Power Plant, Schwendi (DE) 2006 – 2008
Photo courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners

6 Tortona 37, Milan (IT) 2003 – 2009
© Daniele Domenicali

7 Social Housing Treviso (IT) 2006 – 2010
Photo © Daniele Domenicali

8 JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Venice (IT) 2011 - 2015
Photo © JW Marriott Venice

9 Bürgenstock Healthy Living (D) 2012 - 2017
Photo courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners

10 Waldkliniken Eisenberg (D) To be completed end of 2017
Photo courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners

11 Davines Headquarters, Parma (IT) 2014 – 2017
Photo courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners

Project of the month







Siam Discovery, Bangkok, Thailand
Arch.: Nendo, Tokyo & Milan

Founder of Nendo, a studio particularly creative in design during these last years, Oki Sato has just renovated one of the biggest commercial centers in Asia, motivated by the same sophisticated and dynamic approach.

Mainly known and appreciated for his strong personality in the design activity, the Japanese architect Oki Sato, graduated from the Tokyo Waseda University, has just realized his greatest and most ambitious project till now: the redevelopment of a 40000 sqm retail space to create an hybrid place, between shopping mall and department store, far from all traditional ideas. Like his furniture and object creations, Siam Discovery leaves an astonishing impression.
The 18 year old existing building, was deep with a narrow frontage that resulted in a poor flow of visitors at the front. To deal with this problem, Nendo joined up the different circular atriums to create an approximately sixty meter elongated canyon-like space, which draws visitors to the back of the building. A stack of 220 frame-shaped boxes with video monitors, digital signalizations, and displays of merchandise flies towards the floors.
Outside, it was decided to open up the façades as much as the structural constraints permitted in order to suppress the previous sense of oppressiveness. However, in Bangkok, it is important to alleviate the intense heat of the sun. For this reason the double-skinned façade is decorated with a pattern that reflects the “stacked box”installation in the atrium.Rather than categorizing merchandise by brand, the experience is organized around the theme of “Lifestyle Laboratory”.The numerous products are openly exposed proposing an emotional experience.To materialize the experimental side, thirteen locations refer to the scientific world: flasks, laboratory equipments and even the DNA structure.The floor and ceiling finishes in the common parts and the retail spaces are mixed to create an atmosphere where people can feel relaxed and feel free to approach the stores. And by repositioning the escalators, the design also facilitates the flow of visitors.Thirty artists from Thailand and Asia were also invited to personalize the space.Finally this project aims to encourage visitors to discover and enjoy a mixture of tastes and lifestyles with many different environments.

Photos © Takumi Ota

Product of the month

Vandersanden Group - Creative brickwork bonds

Both architect and builder usually spend a lot of time choosing the materials that determine a project's appearance. This is certainly the case for cladding, as this will set the tone for the entire building. The way the bricks are laid strongly influences the appearance of a brick façade. A thoughtfully chosen bond will add cachet and character to a project.

The stretcher bond is most frequently used, however, there are many different possibilities. Some examples.

Stack bond or stacked bond
This type of bond accentuates the vertical aspect of the brickwork. The bricklayer stacks the facing bricks one on top of the other, so that not only the horizontal bed joints are in a continuous line, but also the vertical butt joints.

Block bond
A combination of stretcher bond and stack bond. The bricklayer lays two layers in a stack bond; the next two layers are staggered by half a brick’s length.

Irregular bond
As the name suggests, this bond does not have a pattern. The bricklayer uses bricks of varying lengths, but no smaller than a ¼ brick. There is only one rule: the butt joints must not continue into the next layer of bricks, they must always be staggered. This bond is the preferred method when laying or gluing facing bricks with low dimensional stability characteristics. In the case of recovered bricks, sometimes you do not have a choice.

Header bond
All layers consist of headers only, which are laid in stretcher bond. You could combine the header bond with a traditional stretcher bond, for example, as a simple method to accommodate a curve in the wall.

No vertical head joints
By laying the facing bricks against each other, the head joints disappear and only the edge joint remains. This adds extra emphasis to the horizontal line patterns of the brickwork. This is an elegant method of extending the building visually.

Decorative bonds
There are also brick bonds that are used as local decoration. These are not applied to the entire project, but added to achieve a special effect in a specific part of the façade or building. They offer a great variety of creative options.
A well-known example is the Brazilian bond.

Brazilian bond
The bricklayer stacks the facing bricks in such a way that there are empty spaces in between the bricks. Result: a spy-hole effect. An unexpected and elegant solution to allow the building behind to be partly visible and to let more light pass through.
Brick bonds encourage creativity. You can combine your own brick bonds to create a completely new bond.

More information:
Vandersanden Group

Events in the spotlight

Ecobuild 07 - 09 March, 2017 - Excel London

Inspiring, informing and connecting the entire built environment with solutions to build better communities.

Ecobuild is the UK's largest and number one event for specifiers across the built environment. No other UK event attracts 33,319 high calibre, senior level decision makers and influencers from architects and developers to local government and major infrastructure clients.

In 2017, the event will return on 07-09 March, with a renewed focus on enabling sustainable construction for 2017 and beyond. With Lead Partner the UK-GBC, Ecobuild 2017 will explore sustainability as a driver to innovation and growth, a catalyst for regeneration and as a way for organisations to do better business.

This year the event theme is Regeneration. Ecobuild 2017 will be regenerated into an immersive city - complete with main street, distinct destinations and special feature attractions. Central to the experience will be Regeneration Drive, a boulevard running through the middle of Ecobuild, linking different aspects of the exhibition and enabling you to experience the very best examples of innovation and creativity from across the built environment.

In the lead up to the event, Ecobuild will be driving industry-wide conversation around the ongoing evolution of sustainability. Industry professionals can get involved in the conversation on social media using #SustainabilityIs

Or interested in joining over 33,000 industry professionals? Ecobuild 2017 is free to attend! Get your free ticket by clicking here.

More information: Ecobuild

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2017 Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France

MIPIM, the premier real estate event, gathers the most influential players from all sectors of the international property industry for four days of networking, learning and transaction through premium events, conferences and dedicated exhibition zones.

Be part of the real estate industry’s most proven business platform to promote your business and showcase your projects to 23,000 active professionals from 90 countries, identify profitable ventures, and source capital in 4 intensive days.

MIPIM key figures:

- 19,000 m² of exhibition
- 2,600 Exhibiting Companies
- 23,000 Unique participants
- 3,800 CEOs & Chairmen
- 5,300 Investors
- 100 Conferences
- 350+ Keynotes & Speakers
- 90 Countries

More information visit

Competitions in the spotlight

1. Ayça Sapaz, Turkey

2. Francesca Vittorini & Andrea Tabocchini, Italy

3. Jennifer McMaster & Jonathon Donnelly, Australia

4. Jim pui yin Lau, Hong Kong

5. Luis José Morión Gil, Spain

6.Maciej Warot, Poland

7. Marina Smirnova, France

8. Nicol Gallardo Kurte, Chile

9. Ainur Mustafin, Russia

Archi-World® Academy edition III announcement ofwinning projects

We are happy to announce the winners of the third edition of the Archi-World® Academy.

With over 1,500 students in architecture participating from all over the world, this third edition of Archi-World® Academy did once again create opportunities for the future talents in architecture.

The winning students were invited to the awarding ceremony and conference which took place on Wednesday 18 January at BAU 2017 exhibition. They got the chance to meet the jury member who selected their project and present their project to the audience.

See here the press release.

Winners AWA III 2017

1. Ayça Sapaz, Turkey

Training course laureate at Design Bureau Romanov, Russia
PROJECT: The Cloud Portico
See the project here

2. Francesca Vittorini & Andrea Tabocchini, Italy
Training course laureate at JKMM Architects, Finland
PROJECT: Inside Out
See the project here

3. Jennifer McMaster & Jonathon Donnelly, Australia
Training course laureate at Polo Architects, Belgium
PROJECT: MA|UA (Museum of Architecture | Jørn Utzon Archive)
See the project here

4. Jim pui yin Lau, Hong Kong
Training course laureate at Ercan Çoban Architects, Turkey
PROJECT: Hong Kong Hegemony - Reclaim Central
See the project here

5. Luis José Morión Gil, Spain
Training course laureate at Labics, Italy
PROJECT: Domestic Colectivity
See the project here

6.Maciej Warot, Poland
Training course laureate at Guz Architects, Singapore
PROJECT: Living in Garden
See the project here

7.Marina Smirnova, France

Training course laureate at Rudy Ricciotti Architects, France
PROJECT: Modernisation of the Georgievskaya village
See the project here

8. Nicol Gallardo Kurte, Chile
Training course laureate at SBA Architektur und Städtebau Germany
PROJECT: Cultural Complex of the Performing Arts
See the project here

9. Ainur Mustafin, Russia
Training course laureate at Coop Himmelb(l)au, Austria
PROJECT: Medialibrary - Education [by] space
See the project here

Winners and jury members AWA III

We would like to present the jury of the fourth edition of the Archi-World® Academy Awards 2017 - 2019:

Mr Viggo Haremst, Henning Larsen Architects, Denmark
Mr Branimir Medic de Architekten Cie, The Netherlands
Mr Lone Wiggers, CF Moller, Denmark
Mr Sebastian Moreno Vacca, A2M, Belgium
Mr Gerhard Landau, Landau-Kindelbacher, Germany
Mrs Stéhanie Ledoux, AW2, France
Mr Eric Vallenet, Beng Architectes, Luxembourg
Mr Philippe Van Goethem, SVR Architects, Belgium
Mr Renato Rizzi Renato, Rizzi Architetto, Italy
Mr Angel Luis Tendero, ALT Arquitectura, Spain
Mr Jean François Chevance, Archetype Group, Vietnam
Mr Onat Öktem, ONZ Architects, Turkey

More information:

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Pool Vision 2016: The winners are announced of the Pool Vision competition

Archi-Europe, together with GL Events, has been organizing the third edition of Pool Vision (, an international architecture and exterior design competition rewarding the most beautiful and innovating pools around the world.

More information:

The Winners are:

Pool Vision Middle East

Residential: Palm Jumeirah, Luxury Villa, TerraVerde

Tourism and leisure: :
Eskisehir Spa & Thermal Hotel, GAD Architecture

Sohanak Swimming Pool, KRDS

Pool Vision Asia

Residential: Monsoon Retreat, Abraham John Architects

Tourism and leisure: :
Vana Belle Resort, P Landscape CO

The Concrete Cloud, Banyan Club Seri Kembangan, S. Pin Architect

Pool Vision Global

Public: de Architekten Cie - Noorderparkbad

OOA | Office O architects - VILLA MQ

4A Architekten - Sports Centre Leonberg

Holger Mauerer Architekt BDA BSW - Deep Blue

Tourism and leisure: :
107 ARCHITECTURE - Les Sources du haut Plateau
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Video – the Belgian Bluestone from the quarry to finished product

Blue Stone Award 2017 - Explore blue limestone in a new way

Carrières du Hainaut launches a new original ideas competition for architects, interior architects, designers and students. How can you creatively valorize choices and peculiarities of blue stone which are rejected for traditional applications? This is the challenge of the Blue Stone Awards 2017.

Beauty and perfection are often associated with each other, but what about imperfection?

Is it possible to realize beautiful projects with materials that are rejected during the cycle because of their imperfections such as veins, white spots, white veins, high density of fossils, etc.?

Carri ères du Hainaut believes so and is looking for realized projects and ideas/concepts that intregrate these forms of imperfections, which exploit certain aesthetic pecularities or technical constraints.

Introduce us your projects in one of the following categories:

Object or decorative element
Interior design

The Blue Stone Awards compensates also:

the best realization in all categories
the best project/concept in all categories

Register here to participate
More information:

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European Architecture Awards 2017

Archi-Europe ( the largest international architecture platform counting today over 185,000 active architect members has launched, together with REALTY, the most important real estate event for Belgium and Luxembourg (

The first edition of the European Architecture Awards

The European Architecture Awards will reward outstanding international projects in key sectors such as urban development, housing, industrial, commercial and office buildings, healthcare facilities…

The competition has been officially launched on 3 January 2017, it will run until 31 March 2017 (deadline for projects submission) and winners will be announced and rewarded during REALTY 2017 on Thursday 18 May 2017.


Urban Development
City Housing Development
Office buildings

There will also be 2 special prizes for:

the most sustainable concept
the most innovating concept

Deadline: 31 March 2017
Click here to register

Visualize here the press release

More information:

MAATWERK MASSWERK – Custom Made Architecture from Flanders and the Netherlands
(8/10/2016 – 12/02/2017) – Francfort/Main Deutsches Architekturmuseum(DE)
We Pioneers: Trailblazers of Postwar Modernism
(> 5/03/2017) – Vienna Museum Moderner Kunst (AT)
Cristina Lucas Trading transcendence
(8/10/2016 – 14/05/2017) - Luxembourg MUDAM (LU)
The New Human
(> 5/03/2017) - Stockholm Moderna Museet (SE)
Rik Wouters & Het Huiselijk Utopia
(> 26/02/2017) – Anwerpen MoMu Modemuseum (B)
>> read more

Deadline: 31/03/2017

Dencity 2017 - A Competition to Improve Informal Settlements
Deadline: 24/04/2017

Biomimicry - Design Innovation Inspired by Nature
Deadline: 11/03/2017

>> read more
books books books

Zukunft von gestern – Visionäre Entwürfe von Future Systems und Archigram Yesterday's Future - Visionary designs by Future Systems and Archigram

Peter Cachola Schmal, Philipp Sturm

Prestel Verlag
€ 50.00
160 pages
German / English
ISBN 9783791355757

>> Read more

L'art de concevoir et gérer un musée
Claude Mollard et Laurent Le Bon Préfaces de Jack Lang et d'Audrey Azoulay

Editions du Moniteur
€ 49.00
304 pages
ISBN 9782281140774
>> Read more

Architectural Guide Berlin
Dominik Schendel

DOM publishers
€ 18.00
192 pages
ISBN 978-3-86922-547-0
>> Read more

© 2017 Archi-Europe
Responsible Editor: Jacques Allard
Chief Editor: Marie-Claire Regniers

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