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Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2008

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Profile of the Dutch architecture firm UArchitects, led by Emile van Vugt and Misak Terzibasiyan.

Profile of UArchitects

Business Name


Emile van Vugt (1974)

  • Architect, University of Technology Eindhoven, 1999

Misak Terzibasiyan (1964)

  • Architect, University of Technology Eindhoven, 1991



UArchitects are fascinated by the interplay of levels of scale and imagination: the scale of the city and the scale of the individual; imagination in the abstract and imagination in concrete form. We do not look for the interconnection in just one relentless, dogmatic theme; we prefer to investigate it in a range of different concepts.

The differences in the nature and scale of our instructions prompt us to develop new strategies for every contract. But our design philosophy remains recognisable throughout: intuitive and reflective, and always based on our fascination for people and places. The places provide hints of the volume, orientation and materialisation we want to apply. The buildings already in place help to define what has yet to be built.

Our investigative attitude is expressed in the intensive dialogue we undertake with our clients. And the scope for reflection is not confined to the contract itself; we also look into the wider cultural context of architecture and urban development by organising debates and workshops. This is not designed to discover definitive answers, but to encourage questions - and thus to continue our contemplative operating methods in relation to the instructions we receive at UArchitects.

Socio-cultural context

UArchitects is a collective of designers, for which Misak Terzibasiyan (born on 22-09-64 in Helsinki, Finland) and Emile van Vugt (born on 04-03-74 in Hameln, Germany) are responsible.

UArchitects is involved in ongoing construction projects and tendering processes, while additional activities such as a guest lectureship at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and our work as a regular architect for the State Buildings Agency [Rijksgebouwendienst], South Region, allow us to improve our own work in a wider theoretical context.

We also attempt to make a social contribution to the position and responsibilities of the architect and town planner in a wider cultural context. In concrete terms, what this involves is the organisation of debates, workshops and exhibitions such as, for example:

- "Living City", evening lecture including a debate featuring Harm Tilman (head editor of the magazine, de Architect), Mathieu Bruls and West 8 on what activities might play out in Strijp S, 'the Forbidden City', once Philips vacates this industrial estate.

- "Cultural identity of Helmond?", a debate and interviews with Jo Coenen, Rob Krier and Joan Busquets, amongst others, on the relationship between the ' retro feel' of neighbourhoods like Brandevoort and the diversity and stratification of society.

- "Eindhoven Revisited: the blue carpet", a workshop with an exhibition and debate featuring Floris Alkemade (OMA Rotterdam) and Luc Deleu (TOP Office Antwerp), amongst others, on the relationship between art, design and public spaces.

- Research project on public spaces in a city district with about 400, 000 residents: "Villa el Salvador" in Lima


  • Founded: 2003
  • Offices: 2
  • Design team: 7

Key projects

  • Maasberg, juvenile prison living area, Overloon, Netherlands, 2009
  • Slinger line, school, kindergarten, sport facilities, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 2009
  • Ice-free, salt storage, Oirschot, Netherlands, 2008
  • Pavilion, juvenile prison visitors centre, Overloon, Netherlands, 2007
  • New Opportunity, single family house, Aarle - Rixtel, Netherlands, 2007
  • Memento, multi-office building, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 2006
  • Meander, senior living complex, Maarheeze, Netherlands, 2005
  • Andreas school, primary school, Budel-Dorplein, Netherlands, 2002

Key publications

  • Published in Dutch school prize "Scholenbouwprijs", final round, 2002
  • Published in "Future Hospitals", "Nuclei", October 2004
  • Published in magazine "de Architect" - "Strijp S, debate with idealism and pragmatism" - Exhibition & debate "Living City", Strijp S, January 2005
  • Published in "Air, Laboratorium Rotterdam", March 2005
  • Published in magazine BladNAi, ' The Easyjet generation, today's young architects', September 2005
  • Published in magazine for concrete "Beton", senior living centre, October 2006
  • Published in magazine "SMAAK" nr 33, Juvenile detention center, October 2007
  • World Architecture News, new opportunity, October 2007
  • Published in "Transformatie STRIJP S", counter plan, October 2007
  • Published in "Arquitetura & Construcao" (Brasil), centro de detencao juvenil, January 2008

Key awards

  • Honourable mention "Casa casla" architecture centre, Almere 2000
  • Honourable mention Steel Prize, Media-centre, Rotterdam, 2000
  • Final round architecture prize Archiprix, Media-centre, Rotterdam, 2000
  • Nomination architecture prize of the province "Welstandsprijs Noord-Brabant", Primary school, Budel-Dorplein, 2000
  • Nomination architecture prize of the province: "Welstandsprijs Noord Brabant", senior living centre, Maarheeze, 2001
  • Final round architecture prize for Dutch schools "Scholenbouwprijs", Primary school, Budel-Dorplein, 2002
  • Nomination architecture prize of the province "Welstandsprijs Noord-Brabant", Office and shelter-space, Geldrop, 2007
  • Nomination architecture prize of the city Eindhoven "Roosenburgprijs", Primary school & kindergarten, Eindhoven, 2008

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