1st Prize European Parliament Building

27 July, 2022 at 15:26

We are proud to announce that JDSA / Julien De Smedt Architects (DK), Coldefy (FR), CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati (IT), NL Architects (NL) and Ensamble Studio (SP) have formed a collective of united European architects and won the First Prize of the international competition to design a new European Parliament building in Brussels.


With the support of engineering firms UTIL (BE) and Ramboll (DK)

More info here and stay tuned for more details!



A pan-European design collective has won the international competition organized by the European Parliament to renew the Paul-Henri SPAAK Building in Brussels, Belgium. The proposal underscores the identity of the European Union and the value of democracy, while promoting the principles of circular construction.

EPB_PressRelease_930px_01-02 copy

“With a war on the doorstep of Europe, and an ensuing energy crisis ever more pressing, the challenges faced by the European Union are shared by us all. As a team of Pan-European offices composed of more than 30 nationalities, we understand and feel the impact of these difficulties directly.
Our collective proposal to rethink the Parliament building in a way that minimizes environmental impact while expanding its openness and civic inclusion as embodiments of the values of European democracy is therefore evermore relevant.”



EPB_PressRelease_930px_The proposal

The current SPAAK building has numerous shortcomings. However demolishing it and replacing it with a new ‘palace’ might be the wrong approach.
In the building sector, over 50% of the carbon footprint generated happens in constructing the raw structure of a building. If fully dismantled, all that expense is lost and needs to be spent again in a new construction. Here, the strategy should be to rigorously re-use most of the SPAAK structure, its carbon expense. Furthermore, the design strategy offers to significantly improve the Parliament’s working conditions and catalyze the potential for communication and exchange with European citizens while keeping as much of the existing structure as possible.

Connection to the City


On an urban scale, the design by EUROPARC aims to strengthen the linkage between the building and the city. By opening up the block, it enhances the continuity of pedestrian flows in the area and creates a stronger connection between Place du Luxembourg and Parc Léopold. The public realm is expanded both inside and outside the architecture, creating a more welcoming experience for the citizens and visitors of Brussels.
The building should not be impenetrable, but should be a place of openness. Therefore, a public passage could be created through the Parliament. In a natural and intuitive way the passage will provide a grand entrance to visitors of the Parliament and establish an actual node in the pedestrian network of Brussels. Additionally a magnificent found quality can be activated by excavating the Spinelli building in front, on the axis from Gare d’Europe. By removing the wall-like condition in this central part of the building a truly inviting gesture comes into being: instead of obstructing the Spaak, the Spinelli now becomes an open-air entrance to the Parliament, quite literally welcoming the public with open arms.

EPB_PressRelease_930px_05 - the passage copy

The Hemicycle


The new assembly chamber of the European Parliament, called the Hemicycle, will be repositioned on the upper levels of the renewed building to meet the spatial requirements for a modernized chamber. It will be equipped with digital amenities that help spread the discourse of democracy beyond physical confines. The room is extensively integrated with the Parliament’s digital platform to enhance transparency and encourage external participation. Another primary feature is the large windows which establish a visual dialogue between the Parliament, the rooftop garden, as well as the city and European citizens at large. One of these large windows can also become a screen to transmit information in real time during assemblies.

The Green Agora

EPB_PressRelease_930px_07 - Rooftop park copy

Located on the highest floor, the Green Agora is the culmination of the public visitors’ journey in the building. The botanical garden draws inspiration from the “agora” in Ancient Greece – it literally means “gathering place” and facilitated the circulation of ideas among people at the time. Not only visually connected to the Hemicycle through the latter’s open ceiling, the Green Agora will also serve as the beacon of European democracy, where citizens and the Members of the European Parliament meet and exchange thoughts. In addition, the spirit of pan-European synergy is reinforced in natural terms, as the park brings together vegetation indigenous to all the member states to form a multifaceted European ecosystem.
All in all, the new SPAAK building by EUROPARC – with the permeable ground floor, the Hemicycle, the Green Agora and beyond – creates a civic ecosystem that places people at the center of the spatial experience and brings them closer to the democratic processes of Europe. It is a unique piece of infrastructure that gives the Members of the European Parliament the space to carry out their parliamentary missions and citizens access to a site of significant political and social value to enrich their everyday life.




EPB_PressRelease_930px_04 - Team Picture copy

EUROPARC, a design collective made up of five architectural studios from five European countries, won the international competition to design the new European Parliament building. The collective’s winning proposal focuses on the renewal of the Paul-Henri SPAAK Building in Brussels, in accordance with a circular approach to minimize waste. In addition, it honors European democracy, most notably through the collective’s international makeup, and the many public areas accessible to all people.
EUROPARC is composed of architectural studios JDSA / Julien De Smedt Architects (DK/BE), Coldefy (FR), CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati (IT), NL Architects (NL) and Ensamble Studio (SP), with the support of engineering companies from UTIL (BE) and Ramboll (DK).
Together, these teams account for over 30 different nationalities in their ranks. The collective formation emphasizes a new approach to architecture, one that prioritizes collaboration and orchestrates the know-how of different disciplines, instead of relying on individualism and singular decision-making, a common practice in the past century.
The team engaged in a creative process which embodies the democratic ideal of the European Union. All the members, drawing inspiration from their respective cultural backgrounds and distinct specialties, worked together to put forward a collective design solution for the European Parliament building. The design seeks to address urgent challenges faced by Europe and the world at large, including climate change, social inequalities and the blurring of physical and digital domains – the latter is also reflected in the collective’s mode of collaboration, where a remote and flexible approach was adopted since the first COVID-19 outbreak. The European Parliament announced the international competition to renew the SPAAK Building in May 2020, with the objectives to set a positive example of sustainable and regenerative building, and to engage in dialogue with citizens and the city. EUROPARC’s proposal stood out from the 15 submitted designs, and was officially named the winner of the first prize in July 2022. The jury commended the project for both its functional and symbolic qualities, calling it “… a genuine re-use proposal that offers an enhanced interface with the public and a new architectural expression to the building with useful sustainability features.”


The procedure was held in two steps, initially as an open pre-qualification procedure for the selection of competitors among candidates and followed by a restricted single stage anonymous design competition conducted according to the UNESCO Standard Regulations for International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning and the UIA (International Union of Architects) best practice recommendations.

The competition is endorsed by the Union Internationale des Architectes (UIA).

More information:

For press inquiries, contact press@jdsa.eu

1st prize
JDS Architects (Denmark)
Coldefy (France) | NL Architects (Netherlands) | Carlo Ratti Associati (Italy) | ENSAMBLE STUDIO (Spain) | UTIL cvba (Belgium) | Ramboll (Denmark)

2nd prize
JABORNEGG & PALFFY Generalplaner ZT GmbH (Austria)
KUEHN MALVEZZI (Germany) | AXIS Ingenieurleistungen ZT GmbH (Austria)

3rd prize
Dethier Architectures (Belgium) | sbp france (France) | ME Engineers Ltd (United Kingdom)

4th prize
Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd (United Kingdom)

5th prize
A2M (Belgium)
VK ENGINEERING (Belgium) | C.F. Møller Architects (Denmark)

Other entrants (alphabetical order)

Baumschlager Eberle Architekten (Liechtenstein)
Bureau Bouwtechniek (Belgium) | Macobo-Stabo (Belgium)

Cobe A/S (Denmark)
Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter A/S (Denmark) | Steensen Varming (Denmark) |
Tyréns AB (Sweden)

Dominique Perrault Architecte (France)
Ney & Partners – T6 S.à r.l. (Luxembourg) | Jean-Paul LAMOUREUX (France) | HL-PP Consult International Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH (Germany) | URBAN ECO SCOP (France) | DDS+ (Belgium) | Arcora (France) | Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost (France) | SORANE SA (Switzerland)

Helin & Co Architects (Finland)
Sitowise Oy (Finland) | LPR-architects (Finland)

KAAN Architecten (Netherlands)
DGMR Bouw B.V. (Netherlands) | SVR-ARCHITECTS nv (Belgium) | Werner Sobek Frankfurt (Germany)

Neutelings Riedijk Architecten B.V. (Netherlands)
NEY & Partners WOW bvba (Belgium) | BSEG (Belgium)

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) Stedebouw B.V. (Netherlands)
studiebureau r. boydens nv (Belgium) | Ney & Partners BXL nv (Belgium)

Renzo Piano Building Workshop (France)
Happold Ingenieurbüro GmbH (Germany)

Shigeru Ban Architects (Japan)
Jean de Gastines Architectes (France) | Ove Arup and Partners Japan Ltd (Japan)

Snøhetta Oslo AS (Norway)
HL-Beratungs-u. Beteiligungs Gmbh (Germany) | BURO II & ARCHI+I (Belgium) | Bollinger + Grohmann Ingeniører AS (Norway) | SuReal (Belgium)

More on the project here

Mini Stoop Picnic

9 March, 2022 at 11:51

Stoop, produced and distributed worldwide by Vestre, is now a line of products. Vestre started beginning of 2022 with the production of Stoop’s smaller version Mini Stoop and its long gathering table Stoop Picnic.

Mini Stoop is a smaller, more intimate Stoop that could fit many spaces where the bigger Stoop brother is too large, but it’s abilities of a casual meeting place desired.


Stoop Picnic is a table-bench combo within the Stoop family, with a focus on non-stigmatising, universal design. The original Stoop design functions as an improvised lunch table but Stoop Picnic opens up to a wider audience. This design welcomes the differently abled and encapsulates the concept of gathering around a table, for all.


The complete family:


More on the project here

Rewilding in a nature escape in Portugal

25 November, 2021 at 11:13

JDSA’s masterplan and design of a living in nature community in the heart of Alentejo got approved by the local authorities.


Combining Wild and Productive landscape in Alentejo.
How to turn 40 hectares of hilly land into a naturally diverse, rich and resilient community?
Constructing a series of buildings, laying out a few kilometers of paths and letting yearly hundreds of people visit and enjoy a precious piece of authentic Portuguese nature is an action that needs care. At Jardim, this will only be done with respect to nature.
Architectural interventions will be minimized, while outdoor living and taking care of the current vegetation and enriching the land’s fertility and diversity will be privileged. Jardim is a place to get in touch with nature, rewild, learn, discover and disconnect from urbanity.
Jardim will be an example of a future-proof, durable and socially sustainable community. The project has now received building permit and seeks like-minded partners.

See the project here



20 November, 2021 at 13:55

Click here for a viewing

New Projects Grid_20211125-930px


30 September, 2021 at 13:56

This project seeks to address the issue of heritage in terms other than those, more classic, romantic or even symbolic, of architectural stylistics. Not wishing in any way, and even on the contrary, to denigrate history, our approach is to assess the value of a building’s survival potential beyond its aesthetics but really on the basis of its consumed carbon.

More on the project here.

BOV newsletter image 930x581px



15 September, 2021 at 14:05

Earlier this year, we delivered the planning application for our high-rise residential tower in central Rennes, France, and are currently starting the tender phase.


The tower proposal manipulates the masterplan’s density to unfold a stepped public space on ground level that invites the pedestrian to climb its base.
Resonating Rennes’ colombage heritage, the tower expands as it climbs upwards, to finally reach its maximum girth on level 12 where it hosts a panoramic park for its inhabitants. The building then resumes its ascension and profile all the way up to its 27th floor, offering over 210 new homes to Rennes’ residents, as well as office and commercial space in its base.

More on the project here.



30 August, 2021 at 14:08

Our project for a low-carbon housing development in Cesson-Sévigné, France, which received planning permission earlier this year, is currently awaiting the final results for the tender phase (construction scheduled early 2022).

CES_Newsletter 202111-930x581px

The design is focused on reducing the carbon impact of construction through the use of hemp concrete. It also aims at maximizing sunlight and natural ventilation (with 3m floor-to-floor height and cross-ventilation in every flat), and developing urban biodiversity.
Each of the 56 apartments has either a balcony, a winter garden, a loggia or a generous terrace. In addition, the project offers a large common greenhouse in which the community can meet, discuss and cultivate together.

The Bat Mansion is set in place

15 May, 2021 at 13:24

JDS Architects designed a birdhouse for bats in Parc Des Gayeulles in Rennes, France.

Near the lakes and forest areas of the park, a home for Bats was an obvious choice, as they are an important part of a functioning ecosystem. Making a bat-friendly place supports the ecologically essential role bats have in the environment, including pest-control, pollination and seed dispersal.
The Muz Yer project in Rennes made different architects design different birdhouses on various locations throughout the city. Each birdhouse is a specific architectural response to an urban context and a refuge specific to the species identified by the Ligue Protectrice des Oiseaux (RSPB in France), the project’s scientific partner. More about Muz Yer here.

See the project here

The Golden House in Aarhus Completed

15 March, 2021 at 10:59


This spring, the first residents moved in our newly completed Golden House on the intersection of Vesterbro Torv and Vester Alle in Aarhus, Denmark. Having only one third of its façade length on the inner courtyard, we decided to reorient the project outwards, offering all apartments generous light intake and outdoor balcony spaces towards the city.

See the project here

Belle-Île receives Building permit

15 January, 2021 at 10:55

The Belle-Ile project is an extension and renovation of a shopping center located between 2 waterways in the city of Liège, Belgium. 


The extension we propose turns the shopping center inside out. Rather than introversion, we suggest opening the mall to its surroundings, making the public space around the complex the heart of the project. The project cascades towards the Canal de l’Ourthe in a succession of landscaped and programmed open terraces. The program of the extension breaks with the monofunctional commercial space to offer a series of mixed functions such as co-working, catering and sports.

See the project here