There is an unnatural split between ‘architecture’, ‘engineering’ and ‘making’ (contracting) in our modern world today. During the Middle Ages, the shape of churches, cathedrals and other wonderful buildings were ‘conceived’, ‘engineered’ and ‘realised’ in the same thought. We tend to believe that Renaissance has introduced the split and birth of the profession of an ‘architect’. Brunelleschi with his wonderful copula and Leonardo da Vinci were both great examples of intelligent people striving for creating great buildings and installations the understanding of structure and physics – among many other examples. Through understanding structure, architects could surpass mere adventurous undertakings into well-thought successful realisations surpassing the common. The ‘architects’ worked in ateliers – with many people together researching through drawings and models – stimulating each other in a thoughtful way: from historical evidence we know for sure they learned from each other, with great respect.
The complete split between architecture and engineering is only possible if we consider ‘constructions under bending’: the engineering defines the minimal sections, and the architect can give a ‘free’ form to it, as long as the minimal required section is kept. In fact – what the architect does in that case – is adding extra materials and costs to make it more ‘fancy’. Of course, the architect is also making general plans and schemes for the building, and hopefully he conceives nice attractive spaces and forms.
As we are confronted today with an increased number of ecological issues and a limitation of materials, I do not believe in this way of thinking. The ongoing spill of materials – on the back of the poorest people in the world – has to be stopped. Architects have to consider ways to reduce materials as much as possible. Instead of ‘constructions under bending’ we have to consider ‘constructions under pure stress or pressure’.
That exactly is the focus of The Nomad Concept. It is not new: large gathering places like cathedrals were conceived with stones and glass, that cannot bear any bending stresses. The magic cupola’s of Brunelleschi and the Renaissance cannot bear any bending. One of the most spectacular buildings attracting millions of people – La Sagrada Família by architect Antoni Gaudi – is made in this thought. The difference between architecture and structure is non-existent and a lack of understanding.
From the inception in 2000, The Nomad Concept has studied natural forms. Architect Amandus VanQuaille created his own computer programs to perform the work that Gaudi did by means of his famous models. Since the beginning, we have tried to deliver unique public and private environments that are stimulating to occupy and fundamental to their surroundings, with a minimum of materials.
As a full-service firm, believing strongly in the unity of architecture- engineering-realisation – The Nomad Concept is present on projects from start to finish, ensuring that the ideas conceived in the beginning with clients are manifest at the end. We achieve this through close collaboration with all members of the project team, including consultants and contractors.
Koning Leopoldlaan 9A
(in between Antwerp and Brussels)
Tel +32 (3) 482 82 80
We are open on Monday – Friday – 10am to 5pm, except on holidays.