Radio Rotondes, in collaboration with Radio ARA #5 Conviction & Collaboration

Sometimes it’s important to provoke people to question the status quo”

Listen to the show

This podcast is also available on Radio ARA’s website.

In this episode we talk to Philippe Nathan, architect and co-founder of 2001. He reminds us that being creative can be as exhilarating and joyful as it can be frustrating and disappointing. For Philippe, creating begins with asking the right questions and being convinced by the answers to these questions. Above all, he encourages us to question what we take for granted, to stay curious and open-minded so that we can see and imagine things differently.

We also share things you can do to learn more about architecture in Luxembourg, like take advantage of the various activities and resources offered by LUCA, the Luxembourg Center for Architecture, go to film screenings organised by Wat Ass Architektur? at Rotondes, or explore the country with the Architectours.

We close the show by inviting you to imagine your dream home.

Our guest: Philippe Nathan

Philippe Nathan is an architect and the co-founder of the studio 2001 in Esch-sur-Alzette. After spending his childhood on construction sites with his grandfather, he decided to become an architect to follow this love he had for the sublime moment of creating space”. After studying in Brussels at La Cambre and working for a few years for the studio 51N4E, he co-founded with Sergio Carvalho the studio 2001 in 2010. The name was carefully chosen to promote an approach to architecture that goes beyond what is considered architecture in Luxembourg. It symbolizes a desire to go beyond what is prescribed, to question and change our ways of living to respond to our times’ challenges. (photo credit: 2001)

2:32 — 44:57 to listen to the interview. The interview is in French.

Featured creative spaces

Luxembourg Centre for Architecture (LUCA)

LUCA, the Luxembourg Center for Architecture, is the main institution in Luxembourg for the creation and the spreading of knowledge around architecture and town planning. It offers a varied cultural programme aimed at professionals and architecture enthusiasts. The LUCA offers workshops, conferences, guided tours and exhibitions. There is also an online platform called LUCA – Look outside! where you can find previous lectures, children’s activities and recommendations for books and films, all around architecture, of course.

45:42 — 48:33 to listen to the description of the LUCA. This part is in French.

Wat Ass Architektur? (WAA)

Wat Ass Architektur?, translated in English into What is architecture?”, is an initiative that aims to educate the Luxembourg public about architecture. They do this mainly through film screenings that take place at Rotondes. The idea behind these screenings is to show and share different forms of architecture, and then invite participants to discuss the questions raised by the film they just watched.

48:41 — 51:49 to listen to the description of WAA. This part is in French.


Architectour is the reference guide for discovering contemporary architecture, engineering and town planning in Luxembourg. It was created in 2018 by the Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs-Conseils (OAI) and Maison Moderne. The guide includes 14 different itineraries, spread throughout the country. Each itinerary includes photos and a description of the buildings included in the tour. You can download the routes online or get a printed version at the following locations:

  • Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs-Conseils 
  • Luxembourg Center for Architecture
  • Luxembourg for Tourism
  • Regional tourist offices
  • Luxembourg City Tourist Office
  • Esch City Tourist Office
  • Museums, cultural centers, theaters
  • Foreign embassies in Luxembourg
  • Luxembourgish embassies abroad

51:54 — 53:22 to listen to the description of the tours. This part is narrated is in French.

Creative prompt

Imagine your dream house

Since we’ve talked a lot about architecture, I thought the best way to end the episode was to invite you to imagine your own dream house. It can be whatever you want it be: a cabin, a boat, a palace, an apartment, a tipi. Just give yourself time to imagine it. Even better: try to visualise it. You can create a simple list, a drawing, a moodboard, a cardboard model, anything. Just let your imagination run wild.

Below you will find my own creation. I created a moodboard with some ideas I have for my perfect house using Canva, a free graphic design tool. You can always share yours with me at email hidden; JavaScript is required

53:27 – 54:08 to listen to the creative prompt. The creative prompt is given in French. 

Mentioned during the episode

51N4e : Studio in Brussels where Philippe used to work

Tower of Babel: an expression referring to a place where a large number of different languages are spoken; a place of great confusion, where everyone talks without being able to hear each other.”

Place in Bordeaux which, following a competition, was not destroyed or rebuilt as initially planned

Own achievements to which Philippe refers to in the interview:

  • First collective housing: Park Housing
  • House with a garage that can be transformed into an apartment if necessary: Fany
  • Proposal for a complex with two sports halls, offices and parking space: Omni

Creative playlist