Portfolio. Selected works 2015-2017.
Emiel Swinnen. Msc Architectural engineering. June 2017.
References. Ward Verbakel Founding partner ‘plusoffice architects’ Adjunct professor KU Leuven Guest professor Colombia University (2008-2011) Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: plusoffice.eu
Tom Thys Founding partner ‘studio Thys Vermeulen’ Adjunct professor KU Leuven Mail: email@example.com Website: 2017.studiothysvermeulen.be
Hi! I am Emiel. In the next month I will graduate at KU Leuven in a master of civil engineering: architecture, option urban project. In the past five years I constantly aimed to get the best out of my projects, from a conceptual idea until the elaboration of a facade detail. During the years I realised that the relationship between building and city intrigue me most. I consider myself a passionate and driven student, and very soon hopefully an architect too. Today I want to take on a new challenge, by starting my career in an international and complex environment. Last summer I lived in Toronto for 6 weeks, since then I realised I would like to live abroad again for a longer period and seize every opportunity to discover the country, its culture, its nature and its architecture. This portfolio shows a brief overview of selected projects. Most of them are a result of a collaboration with three of my fellow students, and closest friends, except for my masterâ€™s thesis. Enjoy the read!
Content. Hot Spot. Pavilion design, 2 weeks, fall 2016.
Hortus Inversus. Public space design, 6 weeks, spring 2016.
Thinking outside the blocks. Urban strategy, one semester, fall 2015.
Atelier canal. Housing project, one semester, spring 2015.
Plot twist. Masterâ€™s thesis, one year, 2016-2017.
Travel + photography.
Emiel Swinnen 25 august 1994 (Belgium) Kolonies 12, Neerpelt firstname.lastname@example.org +32 498 15 88 83 https://www.behance.net/swinnenemiel https://issuu.com/home/publisher
Master in Architectural Engineering, option urban project — KU Leuven, Belgium
2015 - 2017
Expected to graduate magna cum laude. (...)
Bachelor in Architectural Engineering — KU Leuven, Belgium
2012 - 2015
Graduated cum laude. (70,3%)
Science - maths — Sint Hubertus College Neerpelt, Belgium
2006 - 2012
Graduated cum laude. (72,4%)
The Art of Building Cities — Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Understanding the principles behind contemporary architecture in order to face the challenges of growing and shrinking cities.
Rethinking the Bosphorus — Yildiz Technical University of Istanbul, Turkey
Research on the metropolitan expansion of Istanbul to anticipate on environmental, social and economical changes.
Bureau Urbanism — Leuven, Belgium
Research on the reorganisation of public transportation and urban development in municipalities between Leuven and Tienen.
Studio Thys Vermeulen — Brussels, Belgium
Involved in the design of 150 dwellings in Deurne, focus on the design of facades and intermediate public spaces.
Temporary public seating — Heverlee, Belgium
Art installation to sit, play and relax on, designed and constructed for Existenzweek 2016.
Co-existenz + stad en architectuur 1516 — Leuven, Belgium
Responsible for the publication ‘auditorium 1516’ and the organisation of a student design competition.
Coach of a basketballteam (8 to 11 years) — Neerpelt, Belgium During the 2011-2012 season I coached kids from 8 to 11 years in basketball. 04
2011 - 2012
Open Atelier — Leuven, Belgium
2014 - 2017
Best overall projects: ‘atelier canal’, ‘thinking outside the blocks’, ‘hortus inversus’ and ‘hot spot’.
Out of Borders Art Festival — Venice, Italy
Final selection of the project ‘thinking outside the blocks’.
Cultural Centre ‘de Kruisboog’ — Tienen, Belgium
Best projects of 2nd bachelor, ‘public shelter’ and ‘dancing on the next level’.
Publication by World Landscape Architecture
‘Hortus Inversus’ — http://worldlandscapearchitect.com/student-project-hortus-inversus-activating-a-non-space/
Publication by KooZA/rch, a visionary platform of architecture
‘Thinking outside the blocks’ — https://koozarch.com/2016/11/07/thinking-outside-the-blocks/
Future Architecture Platform competition + mention on Archdaily
‘Thinking outside the blocks’ ended 9th out of over 300 projects in the public vote.
Existenz design competition
I am a monument: Second place.
Student lecture in STUK — Leuven, Belgium
2015 - 2016
Presentation of best overall project; ‘atelier canal’ and ‘thinking outside the blocks’
Autocad, Adobe Suite (Ps, Id, Ai, Lr), laser cutting, model making
Sketchup Pro, Vectorworks, Rhino, QGIS, Cinema 4D, Archicad
Grasshopper, 3D printing
Native or bilingual proficiency
Professional working proficiency
Basic working proficiency
Cities, basketball, photography, series, squash, mountains, hiking, graphic and editorial design 05
FALL 2016 SHORT DESIGN STUDIO; COLLABORATED WITH NIK VANDEWYNGAERDE The coaltrack studio was a very intensive and short studio (just two weeks) in which we focused on the Belgian mineregion. After decades of intensive coal excavation, the region is ready to take on a new challenge and invest in more sustainable sorts of energy. We had to design a pavilion or intervention that could stimulate this shift in use of energy. Nik and I focused on geothermal energy. Based on a study conducted by 51N4E and VITO and our own research of the energy demand in the mine region, we determined that 22 pair of drills up onto a depth of 3000 metres were needed to generate enough heat. In order to familiarise the coal regionâ€™s inhabitants with the concept of geothermal energy, we designed a pavilion that uses the heat in two unconventional ways. Besides being a place to learn about this means of energy, it would function as a sauna in winter and as a hot air balloon platform and bar in summer. The pavilion was implemented in As, where the hottest earth layers are found and the first coal in the region was discovered over a century ago. Coal was the regionâ€™s economical driver in the 20th century. We envisioned geothermal energy to take over this role in the 21st century.
Geothermal hot air balloon.
Cold showers in winter, balloon platform in summer.
Geothermal spiral for heat distribution.
Sauna in winter, bar in summer.
Lounge area in winter, terrace in summer.
A new symbol for renewable energy. In the 20th century the mineshaft stood symbol for the regionâ€™s main economy. Millions of tons of coals were excavated. The 21st century faces serious challenges considering our energy use. Geothermal energy is used in unconvential ways, to heat a sauna in winter and to fill up a hot air balloon in summer. We aimed to change the symbol of the region from the 20th century mineshaft towards the 21st century balloon.
SPRING 2016 DESIGN STUDIO; COLLABORATED WITH NIK VANDEWYNGAERDE, JOACHIM MERTENS, JARON VANOOTEGHEM
Atelier ‘public realm’ focused on redeveloping a dead open space in the centre of the European quarter of Brussels. The space actually is a roof to the underlying railway lines and is enclosed by buildings of the European Parliament. Its facades are completely blind until a height of four metres for safety reasons, which is considered being problematic to the space’s urban atmosphere. When visiting the site, we rapidly experienced that this passage was heavily underused and too much space was available. We wanted to show that a blind wall does not always induce a dead or vacant space. By designing a pair of new walls on both sides, we reduced the available space. The space behind the walls was filled in with urban nature, joining and invigorating ‘the Brussels 2040’-strategy which wants to strenghten forgotten green corridors in Belgium’s capital.
~ hor•tus con•clu•sus (noun; m) 1. enclosed garden, often seen in medieval abbeys 2. a harmonious and orderly planted space for contemplation and introspection
~ hor•tus in•versus (noun; m) 1. enclosed emptiness, flanked by unconstrained nature 2. a twisted typology, used to stress the importance of the natural landscape of a place 12
Brussels city centre.
Forest Ter Kameren.
BRUSSELS 2040: STRENGTHENING THE MAALBEEK VALLEY
REDUCING OPEN, VACANT SPACE FOR INACCESSIBLE URBAN NATURE 13
Analysis of pedestrian flows.
STAGE A / PLANTING
STAGE B / GROWTH 14
STAGE C / SELF-SUFFICIENCY
STAGE D / FULL BIODIVERSITY 15
The traditional park inversed. Normally seen, a park is open, publicly accessible and surrounded by the public realm. Here, it is closed, inaccessible and it encloses the public realm. The intervention guides people through the esplanade, provides seats and small lawns for kids to play on. Civil servants and European councils working on the inside now look out on a calming green environment that changes constantly through time, in stead of a dull, paved passage.
1 CONCEPTUAL POSTER, 4 DETAILED Our project was presented in front of members of the European Parliament. One collective poster explained the concept, 4 individual ones went further into detail.
Thinking outside the blocks.
FALL 2015 DESIGN STUDIO; COLLABORATED WITH NIK VANDEWYNGAERDE, JOACHIM MERTENS, JARON VANOOTEGHEM
Studio Supereixample existed out of 20 students and acted as a collective think-thank, reflecting upon the urban condition before, during and after the transformation of El Poblenou, a district in Barcelona. The Superilesplan proposes to create 3x3 blocks for passing traffic and use the inner streets only for local traffic. The plan unveils new potential to rethink Poblenouâ€™s current urban condition. In a group of four, we worked on a forgotten urban fabric that had too much potential to be laid aside. By introducing multiple small-scale interventions we hoped to generate enough resistance to new developments in the area. It countered the gentrifying trend and focused on projects where the local community would benefit of. We were convinced that, despite the absence of direct links between projects, they are very complementary to each other and could send out a strong message. The Pere IV, an old diagonal road serves as the backbone of this strategy, with all interventions proposed perpendicular on it. A variety of functions, program and buildings typoligies aimd to address and illustrate El Poblenouâ€™s alternative urban condition as a whole.
The tilted grid 2.0. In the early 19th century, when Poblenou was not yet a part of Barcelona and well-known for its industrial activities, its urban fabric existed out of a large trading route (Pere IV) going to France and smaller streets perpendicular on it. When Cerda developed its plan to expand Barcelona, it completely overruled Poblenouâ€™s tilted grid. But not its buildings. By reviving certain buildings and connecting them to each other on a socio-economic level, we locally reenacted this grid, to overrule the Cerda-one again.
A selfmade housing project.
EXISTING CERDA GRID
THE TILTED GRID TAKING OVER
A centre for education and craftmanship.
EXISTING CERDA GRID
REMOVING ABANDONED BUILDINGS
SPRING 2015 DESIGN STUDIO; COLLABORATED WITH NIK VANDEWYNGAERDE, JOACHIM MERTENS, JARON VANOOTEGHEM
This studio in our thrid year existed out of two parts. In the first semester a masterplan for a site in Anderlecht (Brussels) had to be drafted in a group of 4 people, afterwards part of the masterplan had to be elaborated in pairs. The site was located in one of the most multicultural areas of Brussels, next to the canal. Multiple renewal projects have started today to upgrade this district in decay. In our design we focused on the scale of the existing city. Small row houses often have different roof heights, facades, etc. We felt that a large project of 150 dwellings in combination with a high density (f/a: 2,5) would lead to a fracture between the existing and new city fabric. We opted to design a collection of smaller blocks, which allowed more views, roof terraces and a more diverse architecture.
BRUSSELS SOUTH STATION
LEOPOLD II LAAN
BRUSSELS NORTH STATION
Front and back facade.
2016-2017 MASTER’S THESIS; INDIVIDUAL
Studio Toronto existed out of 13 students that conducted their thesis in the Toronto Metropolitan Area. The city faces a major challenge due to high population growths in the upcoming decades. An expansion of the existing transit-system combined with transitoriented development should be able to shelter part of this demographic increase and upgrade the city’s efficiency. This graduation project explores an alternative approach in redeveloping a plot within the Golden Mile area, a post-industrial district in Metropolitan Toronto. As a reaction on current city plans along Eglinton Avenue, perpendicular development is introduced to induce a more porous streetscape. In this way, focus shifts from the avenue towards its commercial hinterland. ‘One of North-America’s most salient landscapes’, parking lots, will be given a critical role within a new and complex city fabric, upgrading its dated status. Ironically, a parking structure supports this strategy. Initially it replaces hundreds of ground floor spaces. After further elaboration of Toronto’s transit network and its consequential evolution towards a less car-dependent city, the building will evolve into an accumulation of work, parking and public use. Plot twist imagines a different urbanity on the Golden Mile. One that uses an element abound, parking, and redefines its position in this changing metropolis. One that unlocks a new chapter in the Golden Mile’s story.
THE GREENBELT ACT The city of Toronto is the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, since 2005 enclosed by the Greenbelt.
The City of Toronto expects an increase of almost one million inhabitants before 2030. Clear measures need to be taken to take in all these people.
Minimum 40% of new development should be built within the existing city fabric as stated in the Greenbelt Act.
Eglinton LRT + mid-rise development.
The project will be enrolled on a post-industrial plot , today dominated by big box commerce and intersected by Eglinton.
Projected to be completed in 2021, multiple focal areas have been appointed along Eglinton LRT for new transit-oriented development.
Site. Mid-rise development.
Manufacturing + industry.
GOLDEN MILE AREA Mid-rise development along Eglinton Avenue could split the Golden Mile into two and diminish its unique character.
History of the plot.
2002 Most of the site is occupied by an industrial plant of General Electric.
2005 After General Electric moves out of the city, a lot of vacant land remains. â€˜The Brickâ€™ (building in the top right corner) is the first big box retailer occupying the EPAW site.
2007 Large companies like Walmart, Best Buy and Target find their way to the EPAW plot.
2012 Commerce has completely taken over, with the site including over 50 different stores, ranging from Walmart (the largest) to a Starburcks (one of the smallest).
Analysis of the plot.
CURRENT PLANS: PARALLEL MID-RISE DEVELOPMENT
PLOT TWIST: PERPENDICULAR MID-RISE DEVELOPMENT
01: RESPECT TO CURRENT ORIENTATION
02: DIRECTION TO NEW DEVELOPMENT
03: POROSITY BASED ON PROXIMITY TO LRT STATION
04: OPTIMAL ORIENTATION FOR MINIMAL SHADOWS 37
Design proposal â€” urban scale.
semi public courtyard
retail office residential
parking or program office
production hall atelier office
Porosity is key to the proposal.
Asp hal t la nds cap e Gre en Per p
end icu lar
cor Egl rido into r nA ven ue 39
cor rido r
elop me nt
Spatial expression of the urban proposal â€” building scale.
SECTION AT EGLINTON AVENUE
SECTION AT ASPHALT LANDSCAPE 40
Static concrete versus adaptable CLT.
tl al ph As 2,
n to lin Eg 4 5,
e Av 41
Static concrete versus adaptable CLT.
Before: parking. After: parking + work and play.
2015-2016 EXTRACURRICULAR; ORGANISATION OF POP-UP BARS, LECTURES AND ARCHITECTURE RELATED ACTIVITIES
Existenz is a group of students that are in the 4th year of architectural engineering in Leuven. Every year they organise a dozen of activities, all related to architecture. The year kicks off with a pop-up bar, is continued by lectures, parties, workshops and a student design competition, to reach its peak during the Existenzweek. The Existenzweek is a week where we occupied a vacant building and transformed it completely. Almost five thousand students from all over Leuven came to check the result, participate with workshops and enjoy the outdoor space. Our lectures where co-organised with Stad en Architectuur Leuven. Architects like Patrick Schumacher, J. Mayer H. and Carlo Ratti were invited to come to speak. In collaboration with Jaron Vanooteghem we drafted a small booklet to introduce the speakers and their booklet, called ‘Auditorium 1516’ (picture below). Besides the lectures, we also organised a student design competition. 150 students from different universities in Belgium subscribed and participated in an architectural competition that put focus on a conceptual solution for sheltering refugees in Leuven. The winners were published in Belgium’s most influential architecture magazine, A+, and received 250 euros of prize money.
The sloping playgrond. I was in charge for the design and elaboration of an outdoor space, enclosed by an old school that we occupied and reconverted into a vibrant spot for architecture, lectures and workshops. Due to the sloping character of the space, I opted to create an enormous tribune to sit, relax and work on. 500 pellets were used, of which one hundred of them could be moved and stacked to your own comfort, which transformed the space constantly.
Intern: Studio Thys Vermeulen
SUMMER 2014 INTERNSHIP WHERE I WORKED ON A HOUSING PROJECT OF 150 DWELLINGS
During one month I focused on a housing project in Deurne, close to Antwerp. It was a design in execution, where I was involved in the design of the facades and the semi-public space inbetween. I created study-models, facade drawings, conducted research on the open space and its context and visited construction sites of other projects.
Â© studio thys vermeulen
Intern: Bureau Urbanism
SUMMER 2015 INTERNSHIP WHERE I WORKED ON THE INTENSIFICATION OF SMALL VILLAGES
In the summer of 2015 I worked at an office that focuses on developing urban strategies and masterplans. Their portfolio includes projects on a national and international level. I worked on the case of Regionet Leuven, which wants to reduce busses on smaller roads and re-open existing railway connections. New stations often asked for new development and pedestrian-friendly passages to reach the station. After intensive field work I drafted 3 plans for three small villages, which were presented in front of the municipal boards.
ÂŠ bureau urbanism
Travels and photography.
2013-2016 TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN EUROPE AND NORTH-AMERICA
In recent years I tried to travel as much as possible. When I do, my camera always goes with me. What used to be running from tourist attraction to tourist attraction evolved in the search of more hidden spots of the city, places that reveal the cityâ€™s often complex dynamic. I aim to take pictures of famous spaces or buildings from a different angle, which is clearly illustrated by the cover photo of this portfolio, showing the Oslo Opera House.
APARTMENT BUILDING, POBLENOU
WTC PATH STATION, NEW YORK CITY
FONDAZIONE PRADA, MILAN
CITY CENTRE, MONSCHAU
EIFFEL TOWER, PARIS
NAHANT BAY, BOSTON
Reference letter: Ward Verbakel.
FACULTEIT INGENIEURSWETENSCHAPPEN DEPARTEMENT ARCHITECTUUR, STEDENBOUW EN RUIMTELIJKE ORDENING KASTEELPARK ARENBERG 1 BE-3001 HEVERLEE
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
ONS KENMERK UW KENMERK
LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION For Emiel Swinnen
To whom it may concern, Emiel Swinnen has the rare ability to combine a strong intellectual capacity with a design sensibility and work rigor that is rarely found in such young students. He is meticulous, has an interest in research, data representation and urban design and transformations. Our Bachelor/Master degree in Architecture is known to be very demanding in terms of workload, engineering courses and architectural theory. Students that on top of this, excel in design sensitivity and architectural development, represent the top level. Trough-out his educational career Emiel Swinnen was noticed at the top of his class, which culminated in strong grades for many of his design projects. His critical approach to societal questions, the attention to urban morphology, cartography and his sensibility to translate his ideas in effective and compelling drawings, were widely recognized by our design staff. I have personally followed Emielâ€™s development since the last three years, as a guest jury of his studio presentations, as a juror for a student competition organized by Emiel and his fellow students, as his studio teacher and currently the promoter of his graduation thesis project. I have noticed his team spirit, his organizational qualities and the eagerness to contribute and inspire fellow classmates. I therefore support his application to continue his studies in the field of urban design. With kind regards,
Ward Verbakel, Ir. Arch., Urban Designer and adjunct professor at KU Leuven
SECRETARIAAT ARCHITECTUUR TEL. + 32 16 321361 â€“ FAX + 32 16 321984 Lou.Schol@asro.kuleuven.be Danielle.Vkerckhoven@asro.kuleuven.be Kelly.Ruymen@asro.kuleuven.be www.asro.kuleuven.be
Reference letter: Tom Thys.
Studio Thys Vermeulen Letter
Letter of recommendation
To whom it may concern Emiel Swinnen is a student who is currently in his second year of Master Engineering: Architecture at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Both as his K.U.Leuven supervisor, and as working with him in my own office during an internship in the summer of 2014, I had the privilege of working with Emiel on a number of design projects. During this time Emiel has proven to be a student with exceptional potential. In my office, he was working on a large social housing projects containing 145 units. He was studying facades, as well new plan lay-outs. He proved to be able to be efficient and fast, and at the same time to take part in the creative process. He was drawing in CAD, making models, and did some visualisations. I have noticed his initiative, hard work and dedication towards achieving high quality projects. He is driven to learn and acquire skills in order to achieve best results, not only as an individual but also as part of group. He has the attitude and the drive to be a valuable member of a professional creative team. Emiel possesses an entreprising, warm, friendly and active personality with passion for creativity and leaderschip. We value his time with us and would always recommend him on his future endeavors. Please do not hesistate to call me for more information, questions or concerns about this recommendation. Yours sincerely,
Tom Thys Ir. Architect
Studio Thys Vermeulen Leopold II laan 53 1080 Brussel BelgiĂŤ T +32 (0)219 07 63 E email@example.com W www.studiothysvermeulen.be 1/1
Selected works 2015-2017 of my education in architectural engineering, option urban planning at KULeuven.