Ingbert Schilz (Jim Clemes Associates)

“Topos, Tectonics and Typos”


“Developing a project in a different cultural context is like translating a piece of literature into another language.” (Photo: DR)

Ahead of the «10x6 Les architectes luxembourgeois qui s’exportent» organised by the Paperjam Club on Wednesday 17 October, one of our speakers, Ingbert Schilz (Jim Clemes Associates), shared with us his vision of the architecture’s structure.

Mr Schilz, why did you choose to export your talent outside Luxembourg? 

“Jim Clemes Associates has built up an outstanding and profound experience in the fields of health, learning and office environment over the last 35 years. 

Our 70 staff, architects and interior designers from all over Europe share their talent and working experience to create responsible and responsive architecture and interior spaces for our clients. We are ready and willing, being a multicultural + multilingual office, to share our experience with clients and partners in the Greater Region.

What specificities should be considered when developing an architectural project in a culturally different country?

“Developing a project in a different cultural context is like translating a piece of literature into another language. Besides a profound knowledge of the culture, you need to know the syntax, grammar and vocabulary and use it virtuously. 

Kenneth Frampton describes the process of constructing architecture as a process of three topics: Topos, Tectonics and Typos. The typos are the important part, describing the complex interweaves of society, individuals, politics, religion, philosophy, art, identity, history…

This, even for us, feeling safe in our homey cultural context, is not always easy to entirely understand, translate and transform into architecture.

Can a Luxembourg architecture be “exported” abroad?

“Strictly speaking, no! 

But we are open and curious to share our holistic and responsible approach, get input by experts and locals of that specific culture, and develop a project with a client.

Key issues are: building trust, treating partners respectfully and finding a common base of shared values.

Only this can lead to a successful project.”

Registrations for the «10x6 Les architectes luxembourgeois qui s’exportent» are open on Paperjam Club.