Photo above: © de.wikipedia.org
“Mir wölle bleiwe wat mir sin”
“We want to remain who we are”
|© Éditions Schortgen, Luxembourg|
© Éditions Schortgen
The Gëlle Fra (The Golden Lady), Monu-ment of Remembrance in Luxembourg City dedi-cated to the thousands of Luxembourgish soldiers who volunteered for serv-ice during World War I. The sculptor of the bronze figure was Claus Cito.
“Mir wölle bleiwe wat mir sin” runs an inscription in Luxembourg’s Old City. Pride in its language, its culture and its status is the basis on which Luxembourg defines its national identity. Luxembourg is one of the smallest, independent states of Europe. Most importantly known for its strong steel- and iron industry. Since the 1960s it has become one of the most important international financial platforms and later one of the driving forces behind European integration. Luxembourgers retain a positive attitude towards Europe as reflected in the popular slogan “We are Europeans, but we still belong to Luxembourg.” Nevertheless, the old conservative village mentality is evident. The identity backlash that has been observed in other European countries, is a possibility in Luxembourg too, especially in the disadvantaged social classes. First and foremost Luxembourg wants to stay Luxembourg.
|Film made by Dr Robert L. Philippart, 1977. Luxembourg: Boulevard Royal 19th century villas, Avenue Emile Reuter, Théâtre de la ville: www.histoireurbaine.eu.|
The first guide to contemporary architecture in Luxembourg offers eight itineraries through the Grand Duchy and includes 118 outstanding architectural projects for you to disover. The colour code and pictograms show you the way along the sug-gested tours. The sites of the buildings on each itinerary are shown on a map.
A brief description contains relevant information about the architecture: client, architect, consultant, year of construction and address with GPS coordi-nates. The locations described represent the stages of each tour and invite you to discover numerous tourist attractions.
For further information about “architectour” in Luxembourg visit: www.architectour.lu. For furter information about architecture and engineering in Luxembourg please visit:
“Luxembourg, the driving force behind the creation of modern Europe”
|Photo by: Pit Ludwig|
Dr. Robert Philippart (www.histoireurbaine.eu) is historian and research fellow at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve at the Institute of Analyses of Change in Contemporary and Historical Sciences. His activities also concern national tourist promotion of Luxembourg. ”The history of the city is at the basis of today’s quality of life,” says Philippart. “The renewal and reinvention of the city with regard to its historical tradition are the sources of prosperity and well- being.” Philippart emphasises the fact that in the 19th century Luxem-bourg had to build up a nation as a consequence of the Treaty of London (1839), creating Luxembourg as an independent State and to convert in 1867 the ancient fortress of Luxembourg into an open town. In both cases Luxembourg had to invent a new identity. It succeeded by choosing for an open society, economically and culturally, com-bining the patterns of Roman and Germanic architecture and economic development. “That formed the basis of the beginning of Luxembourgian architecture. This open-minded mentality of Luxembourg is very important. It is crucial that Luxembourg developed from an ancient Belgian province to an independent state and from a fortified city to an open city. These are two major changes of identity that prepared the country for its future role as cradle of the current European Union and a cosmopolitan society.”
Bob Strotz - founder/partner of hsa-heisbourg strotz architectes
President of the OAI - Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs-Conseils
The responsability of architects and engineers
Quality features high on the agenda of Bob Strotz, the President of the Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs-Conseils. The ambi-tious president emphasises: “Architects and consultants seek to im-prove both the quality of life of the project users and the quality of the built environment. We must make society aware that the quality of our built environment is important as a means of restoring confi-dence in the future and the economy in order to overcome the crisis. Nowadays, projects embody extremely sophisticated designs and must go through complicated procedures to ensure compliance with regulations, requirements and checks, carried out by stakeholders from all areas, which moreover are sometimes contradictory.” Bob Strotz emphasises that the freedom, innovation and intellect of architects and cunsultants used to be features sought after by decision makers, contractors and citizens, and the result of their work was presented with pride.”
|Design by hsa-heisbourg strotz architectes|
NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR LUXEMBOURG-FETSCHENHOF NATIONAL FEDERATION OF SCOUTS AND GUIDES (FNEL)
The FNEL had premises in rue Holle-rich in the city of Luxembourg as well as other rented places. The exis-ting premises were no longer appropri-ate in view of the future management requirements of the FNEL. The aim was to create a unique space for the infrastructure and vehicles as well as to provide a meeting room of adequate size. hsa-heisbourg strotz architectes have designed new headquarters for the Federation with functional units. The new home for the FNEL was built in 2012 in Luxembourg-Fetschenhof. For more information: www.fnel.lu
Police station in the Moselle valley
In 2012 the central police station of the east of Luxembourg in Grevenmacher designed by hsa-heisbourg strotz architec-tes together with FlosundK architekten, was realized. The photo right shows the Moselle valley, where the new police office proudly dominates. The building is a new entrance for the city of Grevenmacher. The materials used are recycled and rein-terpreted as the sandstone, the typical ma-terial of the valley, which was once used to build vineyard terraces. They serve here as a foundation for the new building and support for the open glass and metal struc-tural elements of the office part, where the structure is a symbol of the reflections of the water. More information: www.hsa.lu
Christian Bauer - Visionary, innovator, builder
5 years President of the Fondation de l’Architecture et de l’Ingénierie
|Christian Bauer: “Good architecture begins with good urban planning.”|
Luxembourg has become a centre of contemporary architecture in recent years. The oeuvre of one Luxem- bourg group of architects, Christian Bauer Associates, has made a pre-eminent contribution to this develop- ment. The striking schools, banks, museums, houses, offices and other buildings they have designed help to shape the face of Luxembourg City and its surroundings. Christian Bauer’s work has earned official recognition. He has been the President of the Luxembourg Fondation de l’Architecture et de l’Ingénierie for the past 5 years now, and has done pioneering work in this position to enhance the image of a small country that is in constant develop- ment and has achieved increasing international allure. One of the most important tasks of the Foundation is to be committed and to promote the “built culture” and a critical analysis of this culture. Christian Bauer declares: ”It must be understood that the built environment is not decided by architects, but is the result of a whole set of desires and judgments from clients, politicians and inves- tors. Those who have an influence over future construc- tions, should be educated in building, not only with regard to technical and aesthetic aspects, but also to urban planning. The Foundation also wants to maintain the quality and identity of the cities and villages. Christian Bauer says: ”For the Foundation to feel justified in expressing a critical opinion, it needs to have internal unanimity. Take our villages, for example. Suddenly, we see built volumes appearing here and there, which have nothing to do with the traditions and scales of these localities. You do not have to be an architect to feel that this presents disturbing aspects. We think that the prolif- eration of this type of building endangers the features and identity of a village.”
On the left: The European School Luxembourg. On the right: Office Building Jean Schmit Engineering. © Lukas Roth.
National Museum of History and Art
Uniting the old and the new
The National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg City (Le Musée national d’histoire et d’art) is one of the world’s most important contemporary museums. It displays works of art and artefacts from all periods of Luxembourgian history. The museum is situated in the historic heart of the city.
The first proposal for this museum was made during the French occu- pation of the Revolutionary Wars, but was never realized. After Luxem- bourg’s independence was affirmed by the First Treaty of London in 1839, Luxembourgers became more interested in promoting the story of their country. The museum was finally founded in 1868, with the cooperation of the ’Archaeological Society’ and the Royal Grand Ducal Institute. In 1997 the “Fonds de rénovation de la Vieille Ville” launched an architecture design competition for the renovation and construction of a new building for the museum. The competition was won by Christian Bauer Associates. The objective was to more than double the existing exhibition space. The contemporary architecture of the museum sensitively engages the existing historical building. The interplay between the old and the new makes for sensual visitor experiences, with strong color and material contrasts. Windows in the historical building look out on the courtyard. The expanded museum with its new building opened in 2002. The respectful approach towards historical buildings is evident in Bauer’s designs.
Modern Architecture in the Luxembourgian landscape
|Green Hill - Design: Christian Bauer Associates|
Green Hill is a group of human scale buildings set on a hill-top in a landscaped setting that combines the advantages of an urban location with high quality surroundings. The Green Hill project was designed by Christian Bauer Associates on the basis of lasting, sober and contemporary architectural themes that provide upscale services while empha-sising the respect of environmental impera-tives.
Further information: www.cba.lu
The heart of the future University- La Maison du Savoir Esch-Belval
Design: Baumschlager Eberle (Austria) in cooperation with Christian Bauer Associates (Luxembourg)
Conservation of Belval blast furnaces
|What was it like to work in a a steel factory?|
|© Le Fonds Belval, Luxembourg - www.fonds-belval.lu|
Belval blast furnaces are the last blast furnaces of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. They bear witness to an important period in the history of the country and the emergence of a nation driven by the development of the steel industry. Following the transition to electric steelworks which started in 1993, Esch-Belval B, the last blast fur-nace still in operation in Luxembourg, came to a stop. Belval blast furnaces were listed on July 18th 2000 on the Supplementary Inventory of National Sites and Monuments, endorsing the government‘s wish to preserve this national heritage. At the begin-ning of the year 2000, the com-pany AGORA organised an inter-national urban planning competition, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior. The Dutch urban planning company, Jo Coenen of Maastricht, won the competition. In 2001 the government of Luxem-bourg confirmed the creation of La Cité des Sciences, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation (The City of Science) on the Belval brownfield site. The construction of the City of Science is realised by Le Fonds Belval, a public institution created in 2002.
La Maison du Savoir (The House of Knowledge)
The University of Luxembourg is one of the most modern in Europe and La Maison du Savoir, which houses the communications centre for the future university, is one of the most important buildings on campus. The competition for La Maison du Savoir, part of the Cité des Sciences, was won by Baum-schlager Eberle (Austria) in cooperation with Christian Bauer Associates (Luxembourg). Baumschlager Eberle stands for an architecture that creates buildings which optimize living environments as they generate identities for locations. Beyond fulfilling these demands Baumschlager Eberle defines architec-ture as the art of creating space for cultural expression. To find solutions for the requirements of the presence and future is the primary idea in the work of Baumschlager Eberle.
Mudam - Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean
|Photo Mudam: www.histoireurbaine.eu|
The Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (Le Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean), abbreviated to Mudam, is a museum of modern art in the business district Kirchberg in Luxembourg City, with a fabulous view over the city. Kirchberg is built on a plateau in the north-east of Luxembourg City and has residen- tial areas to house almost 3,534 people. Kirchberg also hosts many office buildings and international banks and is home to various European Union Institutions, in-cluding the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, parts of the European Commission, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Photo Mudam: www.histoireurbaine.eu Investment Bank, the European School of Luxembourg and a number of buildings of the University of Luxembourg. The Mudam opened its doors in 2006 and displays works by some of the world’s most notable modern artists. It houses the most important collection of contemporary art in Luxembourg and is known for its splendid architecture by the Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei, who won the Pritz-ker Prize. It is built on an old fortress in a marvellous dialogue between the natural, historical and modern environment. Standing against the vestiges of Fort Thüngen, it follows the course of the former outer walls of the fortress and is rooted in the Park Dräi Eechelen, planned by the landscapists Michel Des-vigne and Christine Dalnoky).
Teisen & Giesler, Architectes: Operatic Architecture
This project is an architectural representation of OPERA in which the boundaries of the discipline are enlarged to form a cultural system based on a universal parametric mathematical language. The model of extreme geometry shown here is an incredible movement in its own right, generating a virtual material reality that is an excellent basis for the ordering of interior space. For further information: www.teisen-giesler.lu
VIVRE SANS VOITURE — TATIANA FABECK ARCHITECTS
« Vivre sans voiture - Living without a car »
|Tatiana Fabeck, architect|
In an attempt to promote sustainable development, the City of Luxembourg wished to make some of its land available and in this way take an active part in offering a variety of afford-able contemporary urban dwellings for a mixed population. The City of Luxembourg added to its other projects and initia-tives by proposing an innovative, pioneering approach at the end of 2010, namely the implementation of a pilot scheme called « Living without a car », in the Limbertsberg district of Luxembourg. The office Tatiana Fabeck Architects won the competition in 2011. Limpertsberg had for a long time been outside the walls of the city, which explains why it was underpopulated. Tatiana Fabeck’s project features an urban development of detached houses located within a large orchard, between Rue Ermesinde and the Avenue Pasteur. Ermesinde Orchard is unique in the sense that it is a town neighbourhood exclusively reserved for people without cars. Is it not a priceless luxury to live without a car in the town cen-tre? To live near neighbourhood shops in passive buildings featuring large openings, in harmony with nature and in an urban orchard? Within the perfectly suited Limpertsberg project, « Living without a Car » means creating a peaceful oasis and a pilot scheme which can set a precedent in other areas as long as it is linked to a road network which gives priority to bicycles.
Waxweiler Mill in Pétange
Located almost at the corner of three borders, this former mill served the farmers of the wider region for many years. In 2006, the firm Tatiana Fabeck Architects won an international competition for the renovation of this mill. The first phase of the project consisted of a bar and restaurant on the ground floor, artists‘ studios on the first floor and a reception room on the top floor. This community centre is called the „Wax“ and its second phase is currently in progress. Design: Tatiana Fabeck Architects.
Further information: www.fabeck.lu
RAILWAY STATION ‘GARE BELVAL-UNIVERSITÉ’ - ATELIER JIM CLEMES
|Jim Clemes, founder and part-ner of the Atelier d’Architecture et de Design Jim Clemes: ”An architect mas-ters the art of construction, which may sound like a contra-diction in terms. After all, con-struction is about rules, norms, whereas art represents creative freedom. Uniting contrasting concepts is at the heart of our philosophy. Architecture is born out of the dialogue between the architect and his client.”|
Designing a railway station in the 21st century is an extremely complex problem. It is a huge challenge to adapt the traditional image of the railway station and the industrial revolution at the time, an image that has been cherished by many writers and artists, to emerging contemporary urban needs and cultures and a strong expression of modernity.
Railway Station Belval-Université is more than a simple station. Beyond its functional role, it also be-comes an important urban landmark by providing a strong identity to the newly created urban landscape of Belval. It is an industrial brownfield site, a former steel mill area that is currently being regenerated. Firstly, this railway station is the main public transport link to this new district. It has an intermodular role allowing its users to change from one mode of transport to another. It is a seamless and effortless exchange platform. Secondly, the building is both a gateway and a bridge. On the one hand, it creates the south entrance to Belval and, on the other hand, bridges over the railway lines. It connects the existing with the newly developed urban fabric, leading its users safely into and out of the new district, and efficiently announcing the passage to an innovative and dynamic urban fabric.
Insurance company Lalux - A traditional family company
|Design: Atelier Jim Clemes|
La Luxembourgeoise (Lalux), one of Luxembourg’s biggest insurance companies, had big ambitions for its new headquarters. The main requirements on the archi- tecture were flexibility of use, functionality, energy efficien- cy, user comfort and suc- cessful integration into the surroundings. From the be- ginning the client and all the project participants were involved in the planning process.
The new site of insurance company Lalux is located at the edge of the Leudelange “Zone Commer-ciale”. Adjacent on one side is a business park with a huge variety of architectural styles and activ- ities, whereas the other side offers a wide view over the surrounding fields and meadows. Architec-turally, Lalux stands out from the surroundings and the neighbouring buildings - the building consists of five four-storey blocks interconnecting through a glazed base at ground floor level. The eye-catching facade design is easily visible from afar. Consisting of both opaque and transparent surfaces, the building envelope is covered with 2500 vertical aluminium elements in different shades of gold, brown and bronze, giving the five blocks a uniform, time unique and iconic appearing.
Diane Heirend, a true social architect from Luxembourg, spreads her wings in Vietnam
Diane Heirend is one of the leading contemporary architects in Luxembourg when it comes to social housing and artistic designs for museums, other crea-tive building solutions and stage sets. She has many strings to her bow, and designs buildings both in Luxem-bourg and abroad from a sense of intimacy. “I can only build in context,on the basis of the existing environment: I want the people who live and work in the houses, offi-ces, museums and theatres I design to feel at home. When I start thinking about a project, I try first of all to imagine how people will experience the spaces I am designing. Intimacy, but also a certain sense of restraint, the atmosphere, which is important when I am designing stage sets - playing with light and forms, all these aspects help to shape my work.“ Diane Heirend is currently working on social housing projects in Vietnam in collaboration with a Vietnamese research centre developing new local construction materials.
VILLA VAUBAN— Musée d’Art de la Ville de Luxembourg
|© Bohumil KOSTOHRYZ boshua|
Built between 1871 and 1873 as a private residence, Villa Vauban owes its name to a fortress built on the same site by Louis XIV’s most prestig-ious military architect, Sébastien Le Prestre, Marquis of Vauban. The museum is located in a park laid out by the French architect Édouard André (1840–1911), one of the leading landscape architects of his days. Towards the end of the 1990s it be-came clear that Villa Vauban was no longer able to meet current exhibition, conservation and safety requirements; nor did the building live up to modern standards in terms of accessibility and visitor comfort.
In 2003 the renovation work, planned by the Luxembourgian architects Diane Heirend and Philippe Schmit, started and was completed in 2010. As a result of its innovative perforated copper cladding, the extension received the TECU Architecture Award in 2010. The extension of Villa Vauban by Diane Hei-rend & Philippe Schmit Architects engages in a stimulating architectural dialogue with the historic building. The renovated and enlarged Villa Vauban was inaugurated by the Dutch Queen Beatrix. Villa Vauban was the winner of the Prix d’Architecture in 2011.
For further information: www.dianeheirend.com
Gaston Flesch - Consulting Engineer at Schroeder & Associés, Luxembourg
|Pont Bow-String, Oetrange, Luxembourg|
The engineer is the first violin “It is often held that the architect plays the creative role in a construction project, while the consulting engineer is relegated to a purely technical role. But this preconceived idea is no longer true today - if it ever was. In fact, if the architect can be compared with the conductor of an orchestra, the engineer is the first violin. It is difficult to understand why educators draw such a sharp distinc-tion between the work of architects and that of en-gineers. How can an orchestra ever function prop-erly if the educational system is not yet able to rec- ognise that a musical performance is only possible Pont Bow-String, Oetrange, Luxembourg thanks to the synergy of the various membres of that orchestra? The discipline of engineering is derived from that of architecture and focuses on tech-nical solutions aimed at pushing the boundaries of innovation ever further.”
For furher information: www.schroeder.lu
The Philharmonie Luxembourg: the country’s musical pride
Luxembourg Philharmonie – The Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte Concert Hall (La Salle de Concerts Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte), known more usually as the Philharmonie Luxembourg, is the national concert hall in Luxembourg City. The hall is located in the Kirchberg district. Its principal tenant is Luxembourg’s national orchestra, the Luxem-bourg Philharmonic Orchestra. The Luxembourg Philharmonie can seat over 1,500 people.
Second extension of the Conference Centre, Kirchberg
|Designed by: Architecture et Environnement (A+E),
Luxembourg-Gasperich - www.archi-env.lu
The Luxembourgian architect’s office Archi-tecture et Environnement (A+E) is respon-sible for overall management of the second extension of the Conference Centre at Place de l’Europe in the Kirchberg district of Luxem-bourg (photo rigth and below). This project comprises two main elements, the second con-ference hall for sessions of the Council of Ministers of the European Union and the Press Centre, which follows the natural contours of the terrain. In the interests of sustainable de-velopment and in order to restrict energy con-sumption, the building is provided with a natu-ral cooling system operating during the night-time, efficient thermal insulation and a tie-up to the Kirchberg Plateau combined heat and power (CH) district heating system.
The architectural office A+E, based in Luxembourg City, has more than 40 years of experience in the fields of urban development and architecture over a wide range of activ-ities relating to the public sector (schools, integrated healthcare centres and administra-tive centres), the private sector (bank and hotels), social and private housing, integrated development or restoration projects, shop fitting and interior design.
CULTURAL CENTRE AL SCHMELZ - STEINFORT
|A + E Architects: Philippe Caulier, Pierre Kelecom, Marc Wagner and Jérôme Dubuisson.|
The former blacksmith workshop in Steinfort has been converted into a cultural centre, whilst the Kinneksbierg water tower has been connected to the Bëchel water tower. Al Schmelz, in Steinfort (Luxembourg), is a former brownfield site which closed its doors in the 1930s. It has been transformed into a meeting and culture venue. Compliance with current regulations has been achieved by adding a lift that is accessible to all users. Corten steel recon-ciles the raw material and its original usage, and the distinctive contemporary aspect har-monises perfectly with the past. Al Schmelz is the decommissioned iron and steel factory of Steinfort, active from 1850 through 1930, recently restored. Many of the machines that were once used in the factory have been brought out and are set up on the exterior grounds, making Al Schmelz much like an open air sculpture museum (exhibitions, theatre performances, and political and cul-tural manifestations).