Give us a little background about yourself.
A: I am Jean-Baptiste. I am 25 and have French citizenship, but I already spent more than half of my life in other countries.
I received a Bachelor of Arts in architecture at Università Iuav di Venezia in Venice, Italy, and then decided to apply for the Master of Science in Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building from TUM, which I am happily undertaking at the moment. I chose these universities to combine the sensibility of Italian architecture with the precision of German engineering.
Why did you join Solar Decathlon?
A: Architecture only really works when all disciplines involved interconnect as best as possible. Only then are great buildings created. This is what I enjoy as an architect, and the Solar Decathlon was the perfect opportunity to put my beliefs into practice. On the team, we all work together and share our knowledge to get the best in every aspect, such as design, efficiency, comfort, structure, affordability, among many other criteria. For me, Solar Decathlon is the another opportunity to illustrate theory in reality and in all the aspects-both positive and negative-that come with it. In addition to that, I like the thrill of competitions!
What is your role in the UT-TUM team?
A: I started with the architecture part itself. The appearance of the building is something that comes at first, but keeps changing in the project’s evolution. It was important for me to prepare the design for future modifications and make it respect its initial parti. For this, it is necessary to have an idea of what will be needed in the design, and to know how it could modify its appearance. So when the NexusHaus is built, the intent remains from the initial visualizations.
I then took part in the building’s design and technical evolution.
What have you enjoyed most about your experience so far?
A: I really appreciated the enthusiasm of everyone! Every member of the big UT-TUM Team is interested and dedicated, and it is impressive to see how fast the enthusiasm spread. Also, it was wonderful to have all of the guests who give us lots of helpful advice.
What are you most looking forward to?
A: I would really love for us to win! But also I am very curious about how this building will continue to be useful for much longer than just the competition. The NexusHaus was not planned only for the competition, but really is designed to have a long life! I am looking forward to seeing it again in many years, as it is well prepared for the future in my opinion.
What do you think (or hope) the impacts of Solar Decathlon are on the industry/architecture/the general public?
A: I hope more and more people become aware of the role that architecture plays on the future of our world, and how important it is to provide sustainable buildings and cities. The NexusHaus will help more people understand that we are ready for the future, that there are solutions for better and more sustainable living. We have the knowledge and the technology to make 100% sustainable buildings. The NexusHaus is not just a normal house. It is more comfortable, more affordable, more efficient, it is just better, and I think it will give hope to many people!
How do you like living in Munich?
A: I moved to Munich exclusively for the university because I wanted to complete this specific master’s degree. It offers detailed engineering classes from a top level technical university and accepts students with an architecture background. Munich is a pleasant city and good at the human scale. It is also geographically in the center of Europe and the surrounding landscapes are very greatly which is great for me as I love to travel!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Even though Munich is a pleasant city, I don’t plan to stay here after I complete my degree. I would like to have the chance to have a 2-3 years’ experience in an international architecture firm – why not in the US? – and eventually I would love to open my own firm. Where exactly I can’t tell now, as the future always has many surprises, but I can absolutely imagine myself in a cosmopolitan city such as London, going from time to time to a little beautiful Croatian island.
Tell us about an interesting project you’ve worked on in the past.
I was offered the opportunity to work one year in Brazil between my bachelor’s degree before my master’s studies. During that time, I researched the restoration of Brazilian public buildings such as the Congresso Nacional by Oscar Niemeyer, as well as ministries and universities. While in Brazil, I also successfully completed research about how to improve the sustainability aspects of social housing through the governmental program “Minha Casa Minha Vida”, a large program which provided almost 4 million dwellings in Brazil since its creation in 2009.