2 June, 2014 at 18:18


This year marks the opening of the long awaited Biennale curated by Rem Koolhaas. This is probably the most meaningful one to date and we’re anticipating a string of amazing events.  We will  attend this week’s opening. See you there!


news_SQA_downmemorylaneLast year, we were selected to compete on a site where Julien lived until his third year of Architecture School. This situation presented a very rare condition in architecture: to be able to address a context that we as architects knew intimately, probably better than anyone.

The site, owned by the municipality is composed of a series of houses, public spaces and the cafeteria of the local school, Clair-Vivre, where Julien also had is primary education degree. The house in which he and his mother lived until she passed away, was part of the masterplan and was meant to be replaced by the newly designed project. In this context our intervention became very particular: on the one hand marked by the desire to fully address the project’s brief and on the other hand, to inform our design by the intricate knowledge of having apprehended the entire site and surrounding neighborhood, years after years while growing up.

The project organizes the mass of new programs, the large scale housing slab, in order to allow a series of public space interventions and to integrate the school sports hall and cafeteria into its urban logic. As Julien’s mother had done her entire time living there, the project proposes to make, at a much bigger scale, an urban farm and flower garden on the roof for the new residents. The volume of his house is kept but mutated into a greenhouse to serve as the community and cultural house of exchange with Lokossa in Bénin (Africa), the sister city of Evere, the municipality it resides in. The greenhouse hosts a myriad of plants from Lokossa and functions as a gathering place for the local community. It is a form of homage to Julien’s mother love for African cultures but it also answers the necessity of a place for the 2 municipalities to relate.  Finally, to our disappointment, the winner was appointed with a project of a traditional, enclosed perimeter block structure.

See the project online here:



On the 11th of June at 12.30 the Pavillon de l’Arsenal will open an exhibition of the Calberson MacDonald redevelopment in the North East of Paris. The old industrial facility is the longest building in Paris. The building undertakes a conversion into a mix of office, residential and commercial programs. Its masterplan was handled by OMA/Rem Koolhaas with Floris Alkemade. JDS is building two housing projects within the complex, adding up to 100 apartments. It will be completed later this year.



We are proud to announce the opening of our very first building in Belgium. The outline of the project’s brief was intriguing at first: to design a facility for the police department of Antwerp that would be able, in time, to become a residential building. The idea of isolating the main volume away from its neighbours is as much a desire to break out from the historical scenery as it is to emancipate its purpose as a potential transgender building.


The Faaborg harbour bath project (which we all used to name FAB…) is now open!
If you’re in the region anytime soon, don’t hesitate to try it out, it’s free to all!


After enjoying 2 weeks of summer life in late 2013, our Kalvebod Waves waterfront project had to face the harsh reality of an early, long winter. Since then it has been busy collecting award Nominations (Architizer A+ Finalist 2014) and winning the AIT Award 2014!
Now the project is fully operational for its first full summer season and awaits your creativity to use and abuse it!


This past week we have traveled China to visit our different construction sites and to meet new clients. We went from Shanghai to Hangzhou, Wuhan, Qingdao and finally back to our Shanghai office.


We have just topped off our first project in China with this 25000m2 office and commercial mix building in Hangzhou. See


Our 180,000 m2 development in Qingdao is going full speed and already reaching the 9th floor! See


The construction of our 800 residential units development in Gangnam, Seoul, is well on the way! We have completed the raw house and are currently busy with facades, finishes and surroundings. See


We’ve finally made a long overdue website update of projects. You can now discover the following projects on JDSA.EU:


Located in between Istanbul’s center and its airport, the Zeytinburnu neighborhood faces the sea of Marmara. Our site is located on the waterfront and benefits from amazing views to the bay. To manage to profit from those views throughout the entire depth of our site we composed a structure that alternates high and low peaks. See


Avaza Park is a project containing an aqua park, sport installations combined with a hotel and a yacht club. Located in an improbable site on the Caspian sea, the project carves out the coast to remain free standing, or rather free floating. See


The making of an interior for a new concept store is something that is both a small task and a very meaningful one: small in size and in apparent complexity. Meaningful in the fact that a contemporary concept store attracts trendsetters and a culture minded audience. Especially when the its concept is to blend fashion, product and furniture design, a bookstore and temporary art exhibitions into 260m2. It called for something even more unexpected: a reference to Frida Kahlo’s cacti fence, emblematic of where she lived and worked in Mexico City. See


The Polyforum Siqueiros site, in the heart of Mexico City, is an unlikely but equally precious blend of political, societal and artistic history. When asked to profane that sanctuary we decided to create a building that would celebrate its authenticity by manipulating the public space around to improve its accessibility and visibility. We then proposed to refer to the original neutral beauty of another equally ‘vandalised’ place: the Cité Administrative in Brussels. Although the Cité Administrative has recently mutated architecturally we decided to give its undeniable original stylistic purity a form of homage by applying its façade rigor to our Polyforum project in Mexico City. The result is a contrasted and distorted reflection of the original Polyforum onto a warped version of Brussels longest slab, turned into a tower. See


The Hammershus Visitor Center in Bornholm is a paradox: at once a noticeable gateway to the historical site, then a hidden landscape tucked into the hill, finally a dominant and proud corniche, reinterpreting the topography in its own way and positioning itself as a response to its neighboring wonder, the castle of Hammershus. See


2013 was marked by our first attempt at a project in uber architecturally cool Austria. We teamed up with X Architekten to submit for this 100000 m2 mixed program project in the immediate vicinity of the new central station of Vienna. See


The K2 project is a high density residential complex that aims at squeezing the impact of the buildings onto the ground to allow for a maximum amount of outdoor parks to proliferate locally. The buildings propose a multiplicity of typologies to compose a 3-dimensional Tetris structure of apartments spiraling up a central circulation core. See


The Qingdao Open Hand project is a project that addresses urban issues and boils them down to the scale of a building. The project is split in 2 phases, together gathering 5 individual buildings joined into a common public space. Like 5 ‘fingers’ joined by the palm of a hand. The first phase, currently under construction, is a commercial and office entity of 180,000m2 and makes up for the 2 first and most representative ‘fingers’ of the development. The ‘palm’ of the hand is a large and open public space spreading on all the roofs to allow views to the sea. See


We’ve had a string of press clippings. Here’s a small selection of those we felt deserved to be uploaded on our website’s press section.

New clippings include articles from Standaard, Laatse Niewus and Victoire Magazine and two video interviews (part 1, part 2) conducted by Arch Archiurbain (in French).


This project is a double first for us and we’re very proud of it: The first family house and first submittal of Building Permit in our city, Brussels. Next month we will reveal the pictures of a weekend house we completed in the French Jura region.

When Nightlife Turns Into Art

2 April, 2014 at 13:35


The Pop-Up Art Club is a new venue in the heart of Brussels, designed to connect cultural actors and individuals from the arts, design, music, fashion and other creative communities seeking means of expression beyond the city’s establishments.


At its core as a music venue, the Pop-Up Art Club offers a new take on collaboration: we invite a selected range of contemporary artists, DJs, acts to join a platform created for them. They choose one of the 10 event weekends to perform, we reveal the names, but the exact lineup stays secret.


The space itself is as integral as the concept. Our interior design aims at redefining clubbing as a piece of contemporary art. The design is multipurpose, enabling it to easily transform to its ever-changing content.


It will be at its first location for 3 months (Rue de L’Ecuyer 50 Schildnaapstraat, 1000 Brussels), with the Art Club nights every Saturday. External events will be on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Pop-Up Art Club welcomes the curious, creative minds and talent with something to share…

JDS ARCHITECTS wins the International Award at the Belgian Building Awards 2014

27 February, 2014 at 14:01



JULIEN DE SMEDT ARCHITECTS wins the prestigious International Award at the Belgian Building Awards 2014

As it is by now a yearly tradition, the Belgian Building Awards will take place this Wednesday the 26th of February at Batibouw. For the 2014 edition, Julien De Smedt will be awarded the International Award. His practice, JDS Architects, located in Brussels, Copenhagen and Shanghai, has drawn over 300 projects, of which around 40 are realised in 35 countries, across 5 continents.

International Architecture from Belgium

A quick look at JDS body of work gives an immediate sense of how international their work is: from the World Championship Skijump of Oslo to a large Office Campus in Istanbul, the Iceberg Dwellings in Aarhus, Denmark or the H-Gate project in Hangzhou, China.

In Oslo, their Skijump project has become a tourist magnet rivalling with Wimbledon and the Wembley Arena, as the world’s most visited sports facility. The Kalvebod Waves project recently delivered in Copenhagen’s downtown harbour transforms the city’s relationship to the water, literally redrawing its shore to provide new spaces for public life to unfold.

In Lille, JDS Architects is building a 7000 m² mixed use complex that combines a kindergarten, a youth hostel and a business incubator around a triangular garden, representing the relations of 3 different ages of mankind: childhood, youth and entrepreneurship. Some of JDS’ latest building sites are in China, with 2 large scale offices projects in the cities of Hangzhou and Qingdao.

From Brussels, JDS Architects focuses on its European portfolio, delivering later this month a police station, commissioned by AG Vespa, in Antwerp and a house in the French Jura region.

Architect vs. Designer

Besides architecture, Julien De Smedt is now also involved in the international design scene. Late 2013 he launched his design label Makers With Agendas at Design September in Brussels, Maison & Objet in Paris and at the New Museum in New York. “Makers With Agendas is a new design capacity engaged in thinking, producting and distributing design.”, says Julien De Smedt.”

Belgian Building Awards – International Award

The Belgian Building Awards are organised by BATIBOUW in collaboration with Confederatie Bouw, Ik Ga Bouwen & Renoveren, Trends Top Bouw, the Order of Architects and the AiNB and they award the realisations of architects, builders, planners en contractors. With the International Award, BATIBOUW confirms its knowledge in the building and design sector outside of Belgium.

Media Partner



18 February, 2014 at 11:45


Fritz Hansen, Thomas More and Bulo organise an award for best furniture design inspired by the Butterfly Chair by Arne Jacobsen, made by the students of the departments of interior and furniture design at the Thomas More Hogeschool Mechelen. The evening starts with a lecture by Julien De Smedt, followed by the announcement of the winner and ends with a walking reception Nordic Style.

27th of February, 19h45-23h00


19h45: Doors open
21h00: Announcement of the winner
21h15: Walking reception Nordic Style

Werkplaats Bulo
Blarenberglaan 6
Industriezone Noord B
2800 Mechelen

RSVP before Friday 21st of February by mail to

More info here.


18 February, 2014 at 11:42


Julien De Smedt will lecture at Concept & Build for Students on Wednesday, the 26th of February. This event is part of Batibouw 2014 and takes place from 10h00-13h00 in Auditorium 2000 at Brussels Expo.

JDS Architects Exhibited in the Atomium

18 February, 2014 at 11:37



From the 12th of February until 15th of June, the MOBILIA exhibition will be on show at the Atomium in Brussels. MOBILIA follows the development of 30 Belgian architects and reveals how the relation between architecture, interior architecture and furniture has changed over a century.

The exhibition presents a series of furnitures and objects of, among other Victor Horta, Robbrecht & Daem, B Architecten and Julien De Smedt.

100 Years Design by Belgian Architects.
Exhibition from 12.02.2014 untill 15.06.2014 on 3 floors / temporary exhibition Spheres (levels 3, 4 & 5) of the Atomium, Avenue de l’Atomium, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium.
Opening hours: Daily, from 10am till 6pm (ticket office closes at 5.30pm)
More info can be found here.

JDS Architects’ Kalvebod Waves Nominated for Big Arne Award

30 January, 2014 at 18:27


JDS Architects is pleased to announce the nomination of its project Kalvebod Waves for the Big Arne Award. The award is given to completed works and initiatives that have raised the architecture of the metropolitan Copenhagen area in the past year. Kalvebod Waves is nominated for the award because it contributes to reuniting the city of Copenhagen with its harbor. To create this urban spot on the waterfront, JDS Architects teamed up with KLAR, Future Experience, U-turn and White Water Adventure Park.

From Islands Brygge to Kalvebod Waves

At the turn of the millennium, the center of Copenhagen was given an incredible breath of fresh air or rather fresh grass by the opening of Islands Brygge Park. The project injected some 28.000 m2 of outdoor space for all. In 2003, we, as PLOT (now JDS and BIG) designed the harbour bath project, which introduced a new concept of bathing and water sports to the capital. The success was immediate and the first real signs of the city turning itself back to its waterways became evident.

Kalvebod Brygge is situated opposite this popular Copenhagen summer hang out. Kalvebod Brygge has the potential to be Islands Brygge’s more urban addition but has, until now, been synonymous with a desolated office address devoid of life and public activities. The new urban waterfront is the perfect hub for summer festivals and water related activities.

When addressing this infamously gloomy and desolated side of the harbour, we put our focus on two major design aspects: to create urban continuity and to locate new public spaces on the sunny parts of the water. What has doomed the Kalvebod area until now were the long shadows drawn by the imposing structures fronting it. We studied the course of those shadows throughout the day and the year and located two main pockets of shadow-free zones. We decided to program those areas as both resting islands on the water and actual programmed spaces, containing until now the facilities of a kayak club. From there on, all we needed was to find an active way to reconnect those islands to the urban network and to make them relate to the city’s infrastructure.

JDS Architects

Julien De Smedt’s numerous prize-winning projects have helped to re-energise the discussion of contemporary architecture. The Founder and Director of JDS/Julien De Smedt Architects & MWA/Makers With Agendas has offices in Brussels, Copenhagen and Shanghai. Among other awards and recognitions, JDS received the WAN 21 for 21 Award in 2011, the European Steel Design Award in 2011 and the Maaskant Prize for Best Young Architect in 2009.  In 2004, JDS received a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for the Stavanger Concert Hall and was nominated for the Mies Van Der Rohe award. JDS has recently completed several large international projects, including the Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo (Architizer A + Award 2013) and the residential project Iceberg in Aarhus (Architizer A + Award 2013 MIPIM Award 2013).

Info Kalvebod Waves on JDS Architects:

High resolution pictures:


Big Arne Award: (in Danish)

In 2014 JDS Architects will continue the construction of the following projects:

-a police station for AG Vespa in Antwerp (BE); completion February 2014 –
-a mixed-use project for the city of Lille (FR) of 7.000m2 –
-the Macdonald housing complex of approximately 100 apartments with a total surface of 7.500 m2 in Paris (FR)
-a 26.000 m2 multifunctional office complex in Hangzhou (China) –
-an office and commercial complex of 180.000 m2 in Qingdao (China)
-the Gwell complex of 800 studio units of 38.000 m2 in Gangnam, Seoul (South Korea) –
-the Premier Campus in Istanbul (Turkey), an office and retail complex of 100.000 m2 –


20 December, 2013 at 19:20

HAPPY HOLIDAYS (photo by George Messaritakis)
photo by George Messaritakis


10 December, 2013 at 12:05


R407, 71 Xi Suzhou Lu
200041 Shanghai, China


5 December, 2013 at 18:12


Julien will speak at BoDW 2013 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this Friday at 14.00 on the topic, “DESIGN VELOCITY.”

BoDW is an annual flagship event organized by Hong Kong Design Centre since 2002. Today, BoDW enjoys the reputation as one of the most significant events on Asia’s design calendar. More information can be found here.

Also, check out the following lectures from the BoDW program:

Dec 05.2013 – Day 1

Charles Kaisin

Olivier Bastin

Kay Kwok

Paul Hekkert

Vicente Guallart

B architects

Elvis Pompilio and Jean Paul Masse

06.2013 – Day 2

Keith Griffiths

Dec 07.2013 – Day 3

Colin Fournier

Robbrecht and Daem

Christine Conix

Tomek Rygalik & Gosia Rygalik

Zhang Lei