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JDS Architects - Julien De Smedt


Born in Brussels to French art enthusiast Jacques Léobold and Belgian artist Claude De Smedt, Julien De Smedt attended schools in Brussels, Paris and Los Angeles, before graduating from the Bartlett School of Architecture, London (source: We Can Change the Weather, Vubpress 2010).

De Smedt worked firstly with OMA in Rotterdam, then in 2001 co-founded and became director of PLOT architectural practice in Copenhagen, alongside Bjarke Ingels.
The PLOT design studio was operational for 5 years with a successful partnership between De Smedt and Ingels, prior to the two partners opening their current practice.

PLOT’s mission lies in the etymology of its name (lit.): “a narration is a series of events, that are tied together in a “PLOT”. Each event contains insight, drama and beauty in itself, but without the PLOT risks failing (…)". The studio therefore aimed to create superior architectural work, greater than the sum of the individual parts.
The Practice’s body of work includes the Stavanger Concert Hall, which won Best Concert Hall in the world at the 2004 Venice Biennale, Maritime Youth House (2004), AR+D award, London (in addition to a nomination for the Mies van der Rohe award), the VM House and The Mountain housing complexes (2005 and 2008 respectively), and The Gang School (2007), a multi-purpose building for youngsters, these latter in Copenhagen.
Julien De Smedt won the Henning Larsen prize in 2003 and Eckersberg Medal in 2005.
He founded his own practice JDSA - JDS Architects in 2006, with offices in Brussels and Copenhagen.
JDSA is a multidisciplinary practice that currently brings together 30 professionals and 500 partners. Their wide portfolio ranges from architecture to design, from large-scale designs to furnishings.

The Practice carries out projects for private companies and government agencies in over 40 countries, but limits its commissions to ensure continuing high standards. In fact, the Practice defines itself as: “a proactive partner for our clients, rather than a consultant".
JDSA’s approach combines environmental sustainability with landscape analysis and rigorous ongoing research into innovative design concepts.
Julien De Smedt was one of the first architects to use digital representation technology as a design aid. Even before his photographs became well-known, his depictions of large housing complexes such as the VM, The Mountain or The Iceberg, in Copenhagen received critical acclaim.

Over the years his projects have included the new Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Oslo (2011), Kalvebod Waves seafront, Copenhagen (2014), for which he won the Urban Land Institute Prize for Best in Residential and the Forum Aid Award, both in 2009, multi-award winning housing complex The Iceberg, Aarhus (2013), and Maison Stéphane Hessel, a mixed-use building (nursery, youth hostel and conference room) in Lille (2014).

Julien De Smedt was awarded the European 40 under 40 award for the most promising young architect and designer in 2008 and Maaskant Prize for Best Young Architect in 2009.
A retrospective of his work “This might not be appropriate” was held at the Vanhaerents Galleries, Brussels in 2013. In 2009 the publishers Actar published a book on his work entitled Agenda: Can we sustain our ability to crisis?

Julien De Smedt holds conferences and lectures in various prestigious institutes. He was visiting professor at Rice University, Houston and University of Kentucky, and has given talks at Mediateca in Sendai, the Irish Architectural Association, Tate Modern in London, McGill University in Montreal, Yale University in New Haven, and SciArc and USC in Los Angeles.
With numerous projects worldwide, Copenhagen is home to his early and finest projects.
Julien De Smedt selected works and projects
- Charleroi Congress Palace, Charleroi (Belgio), 2016 - in corso
- Gangnam Bogeumjari Discrict Officetel, Seoul (Corea del Sud), 2014 - in corso
- Complesso residenziale Tad - Iceberg, Aarhus (Danimarca), 2014
- New Waterfront Kalvebod Waves, Copenhagen (Danimarca), 2014
- Maison Stéphane Hessel, Lille (Francia), 2014
- Complesso residenziale The Iceberg, Aarhus (Danimarca), 2013
- Hop - Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Oslo (Norvegia), 2011
- Padiglione belga Expo 2010, Shangai (Cina), 2009
- House of Arts and Culture (progetto), Beirut (Libano), 2009
- The Be Building (progetto), Bruxelles (Belgio), 2008
- The Twirl House, Aodi (Taiwan), 2007 - in corso
- The Gang School (con Bjarke Ingels), Copenhagen (Danimarca), 2007
- Helsingør Psychiatric Hospital (con Bjarke Ingels), Helsingør (Danimarca), 2006
- Complesso VM House (con Bjarke Ingels), Copenhagen (Danimarca), 2005
- Maritime Youth House (con Bjarke Ingels), Copenhagen (Danimarca), 2004
- Hotel, sports and conference center REN (progetto, con Bjarke Ingels), Shangai (Cina), 2004
- Stavanger Concert Hall (con Bjarke Ingels), Stavanger (Norvegia), 2003
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