Amandus VanQuaille is architect, but first of all nature lover.
Since his youth, he was always around forests and mountains. He travelled during many years all over the world, and foremost in the Himalayas where he did countless trekkings in the mountains.
During many years he was team leader of a DFG (German Research Council) research project in Ladakh and Zanskar (Himalayas in the North of India), studying Buddhist monasteries and human settlements in the West-Himalayas.
In his vision, architecture or buildings are never meaningful without their natural surroundings. Too often, there is no relation anymore between architecture and nature, architecture and landscape: we are nearly completely disconnected from our roots, from our nature, from our ‘second nature'( or intuition) and from the local natural resources. The richness of local resources and historic understanding of those materials has been replaced too often by extremely poor materials under the misleading term ‘globalisation’. Globalisation is undoubtedly an incredible advantage if it comes in learning from each other, from different cultures, histories and knowledge. It is undoubtedly poor if we just grasp the cheap materials from each other.
Architect Amandus VanQuaille had 2 important masters from whom he owes a lot: landscape architect Jacques Wirtz and architect-researcher Jan Pieper.
Amandus VanQuaille started his career with an internship at the design studio of Jacques Wirtz. From the beginning, the relation between landscape and architecture was crucial.
After this period he continued working with the master, but also worked as a researcher for the German Research Council in the university of Aachen (RWTH) at the Chair of Architectural History with Prof. Jan Pieper. During those years, the deep relation between landscape and architecture was studied upon in a a more scientific and historical context. This study made clear that landscape and the natural settings were determining the forms of architecture during many centuries of Tibetan Buddhist architecture..
The evolution of early Buddhist architecture from the Mandala ‘central plan’ in the flat Indian subcontinent to the vertical hierarchy typical for Tibetan Buddhist monasteries took many centuries to develop.
The Buddhist architecture developed from early Middle Ages as a pure import of Indian philosophy, script system and architecture, to some own interpretations and adaptations during the following centuries, and finally to a typical ‘Tibetan’ style architecture as we know it from the last centuries and fully adapted and integrated in the original nature philosophy and landscape of the Tibetans.
On from 2000, architect Amandus VanQuaille started his own design studio called ‘The Nomad Concept’. From the beginning he concentrated on ‘tent-like’ structures or membrane architecture. Although he started his research on membrane architecture since 1992, he adapted and learned a lot of German membrane structures during his period in the RWTH Aachen. Germany is very well-known as one of the centres where membrane technology was refined and studied under influence of architects like Frei Otto. Frei Otto could work and develop his knowledge during the golden years in a country that was fully supporting new technologies, both in industry and in building technology, built on a solid scientific research programs.
All those influences – but also a century-long family tradition since at least 1750 (!) of a straight family lineage of roof makers – culminate in the work of architect Amandus VanQuaille.
The family VanQuaille have been making many roofs for historical buildings around Flanders in the north of Belgium. The oldest evidence dates back from 1751 with an inscription on a lead slab made by Adrianus VanQuaille. This lead slab is proudly hanging in the office of Amandus VanQuaille, 270 years later.
Tradition, history, science and technology, but foremost a passion for nature are the elements in the form language of this peculiar organic architecture in textile.
Phone : +32 (3) 485 82 80