We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Buildner Sustainability Award winners of our "Sansusī Forest Food Court" competition –Nicolas Moser, Linh Pham, Quang Anh Ha and Khanh Duong from Switzerland!

Sustainability Award winners from Switzerland

Multiply Office is multidisciplinary studio that focuses on Master planning, architecture, research and design. With feet in Switzerland and Vietnam, we associate passion, complementary knowhow and creativity to propose unique projects to shape your world. We propose buildings, spaces, interiors, objects, installations, concepts and exhibitions. We prioritize projects with a positive social impact, equipped for creativity and innovation.

We are led by questions rather than conforming to a specific style. Each project is a new journey with the great opportunity to propose a singular answer with a strong identity that answer to the requirements of the client, a specific context, and the new challenges of our society. We are talented, determined, eco-conscious and passionate.

Our professional experience gained through a large range of local and international partnerships, exchanges, experimentation, and serendipity of encounters allows us to perfectly understand and manage the responsibilities that designers must endorse today. We are inspired by cities, traditions, local cultures, and the people around us. To push further the boundaries of Design, we team up with brilliant partners to set up multi-disciplinary teams composed of local and international experts.

We are a team of Architects, Artists, Designers and Global Thinkers. We are creative and dynamic, curious and open-minded, accurate and organized, we love exchange, conversation and new challenges. Our team consists of five permanent members who form the core of our studio. These individuals bring diverse skills, expertise, and perspectives to our projects. Additionally, we collaborate with several external partners who join us on specific projects, further enriching our team and expanding our capabilities.

The office has been officially open in 2020 by Nicolas Moser, Founder and director of Multiply Office. Nicolas Moser is a Swiss architect who graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL) in 2006.

In 2003, he joined the Swiss architectural studio Group8. in 2007 he moved to Vietnam to establish the first international branch of Group8. in 2015, he was appointed director of the Hanoi Office, which was later renamed G8A-Architects. During his tenure at G8A, Nicolas led large-scale international projects, coordinated with numerous international consultants, managed large project teams, and worked on projects of various scales, ranging from interior design to master planning.

In 2020, Nicolas made the decision to start over and to open Multiply Office, his own architecture and design studio to focus more about concepts. With Multiply Office, Nicolas Moser continues to work on the same themes and strategies developed during his time with G8A Architects in the fields of architecture and urban planning, but he also expands his activities driven by his own interests and passions, venturing into the world of design.

Through numerous projects, ranging from very small to very large scale, he has had the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of clients, partners, consultants, and contractors. Through those collaborations and exchanges, Nicolas leverages his strengths and the small scale of Multiply Office. The resulting synergy creates exciting potential for new experiences and enhances the quality of each project. Passionate about cities, design, people, and art, Nicolas Moser aims to bring a playful vision, a sense of responsibility towards future users, and a touch of culture and tradition to each project.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

Our company is involved in a diverse range of projects, spanning various scales from objects to master plans. Currently, we are engaged in several exciting endeavors. We are in the final stages of completing a villa in Switzerland, and concurrently participating in multiple open architecture competitions in Switzerland, including designs for a fire station, public school, and urban furniture. In Vietnam, we are actively working on an office building project in Hanoi, with a surface of 26,000 square meters. We have recently submitted the basic design for this project. Additionally, we are in the schematic design phase of a 30-storey office tower in Hanoi. Furthermore, we are involved in the development of several master plans in Vietnam, ranging from 75 hectares to 2,000 hectares, currently at the concept stage.

Finally, on a smaller scale, we are currently directing our attention towards the recycling of plastic materials to create a series of design objects. Additionally, we are actively engaged in the development of our beloved "Urban Blanket" project. As a small and creative studio, we collaborate with partners for many of our projects. Our focus lies in the strategic aspects, conceptualization, and project coordination from inception to completion. Our diverse portfolio includes projects such as the petticoat dress, which we developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 'I am a Bear', a competition entry aimed at proposing a new iconic symbol for the Silicon Valley.

These examples highlight our playful and simple approach to design, which is evident in projects of various scales. Our emphasis on bringing joy and delight is coupled with a commitment to providing solutions and addressing important questions. Whether we're working on small or large projects, our design philosophy remains consistent. We strive to infuse each design with a sense of playfulness and simplicity, creating spaces and objects that evoke a sense of joy and wonder. This approach enables us to engage users on a deeper level and make a positive impact on their experiences.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

To us, architecture is more than just providing physical buildings strictly following the scope of works for specific activities. It encompasses the role of an architect in our society, which goes beyond construction. We believe that as architects, we have a responsibility to propose projects, both on a small and large scale, that inspire users, respect and protect environment and offer them flexibility and freedom in how they utilize the spaces we create . We strive to bring additional possibilities and enhancements to the initial requirements, working alongside the client to broaden their vision and unlock the full potential and opportunities of their project.

At Multiply Office, we approach each project with genuine enthusiasm and a strong desire to design spaces and objects that evoke emotions and deeply engage users. We firmly believe in empowering users by making them responsible for their environment and their experiences within it. Through our designs, we aim to not only create functional spaces but also teach users about themselves and encourage them to embrace a fresh perspective.

We actively encourage people to step outside their comfort zones and perceive things from a different perspective. By avoiding being confined to preconceived notions and thinking with distance and openness, we firmly believe that architecture has the power to effect positive change while preserving the elements that hold significance.

In our view, an architect's role extends beyond the mere physical construction of buildings. It involves shaping the built environment in a way that enriches people's lives, fosters a sense of community, and contributes to the well-being of society as a whole. Through our work, we aspire to create meaningful spaces that inspire, empower, and transcend the boundaries of traditional architectural practice.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Participating in architecture competitions holds four main interests and objectives for us: Firstly, competitions provide an ideal platform to nurture our creativity and explore new solutions. They allow us to discover new programs, develop innovative ideas, and break free from the constraints imposed by clients. Competitions enable us to be more radical, pushing us to develop concepts and ideas that may be more challenging and theoretical in nature.

Secondly, we strongly believe that competitions play a crucial role in the world of architecture. As architects, we bear a significant responsibility towards our community, as we shape the buildings that will define the coming decades. The competition process fosters democratic discussions and serves as a "think tank," stimulating debates about public infrastructure and cities. It provides an opportunity to showcase and demonstrate different visions, ultimately raising the bar for the built environment in which we live. It is important for us to actively participate in this movement, to listen to others, and to have our voices heard.

Thirdly, competitions offer an exciting way to challenge ourselves and compare our work with other architectural firms. They allow us to gauge how our ideas, methods, visions, and designs are perceived and appreciated by others. Competing encourages us to continually enhance our skills, adapt our approaches to presenting ideas using new tools or techniques, and stay connected with the expectations of today's audiences." I have made some minor adjustments to improve the flow and clarity of your response. Let me know if you need further assistance or have any other questions! Lastly, competitions provide an opportunity for winners to access programs they might not have the opportunity to obtain through direct commissions, especially if they lack the right contacts and connections. This is the beauty of competitions; they offer a 'dream' of possibilities every time we submit an entry. Competitions can launch the career of a young studio or give a second life to an older one, opening doors to new opportunities and expanding our professional horizons.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

I believe that taking part in competitions is always a good thing, so if we have the opportunity, we should not hesitate. However, it’s important to have a clear vision of why we are choosing one competition over another. We must be inspired by the subject and have something to say or learn about it. It’s also very important to be aware of the time that a competition takes. We cannot participate in a competition if we are not fully involved in it. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that a competition can be stopped if we feel that we are not making progress or if the given time is too short to propose a meaningful answer.

In my view, a competition is composed of three main phases. The first phase involves brainstorming, idea generation, and establishing the central theme or narrative we wish to convey or develop. The second phase focuses on refining and developing the ideas generated in the initial step. Lastly, the third phase revolves around presenting the design in an appealing and consistent manner. Each phase is highly significant, but the final phase is the one on which we will be judged. Even the best idea, if not effectively explained, can lose its strength and potential. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of these three phases when participating in a competition. The first phase, which encompasses discussions and brainstorming, can take place anywhere. This stage requires time, and it is important to carry this phase with us and immerse ourselves in the project from the beginning to find inspiration and ideas. The second phase aligns with traditional architectural work, involving testing and ensuring the viability of the idea.

Before beginning the last phase, it's crucial to determine how we want to represent the project and identify the necessary documents. It's also important to be prepared to let go of certain documents if they don't serve the project's goals, even if we've invested time in creating them.

Furthermore, it's essential to acknowledge that working on a competition can be highly stressful and time-consuming, with no guarantee of success. That's why it's important to be passionate about the process and know exactly why we are participating in competitions; otherwise, the outcome may be very negative….

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