„Our work combines conceptual directness with limited utilization of formal means. This “economical utilization of resources“ in general and in architectural detail is an important prerequisite for the longevity of our ideas“

“Baukultur” is a concept that is difficult to translate; for this very reason, many think therefore that it is a German virtue. Baukultur stands for the holistic approach to the built environment, at any scale, both in terms of function and from an aesthetic point of view combined with the understanding of the cultural heritage and focusing on the future. With this in mind, we claim to arrive at the best possible solution for each task assigned to us - from the school building to the corporate headquarters. We have succeeded in this endeavor due to the well-developed culture of lively discussion among the four partners and our staff members. We consider the diversity of the resulting resources and possibilities to be our strength.


The Cologne-based firm JSWD Architekten was founded in 2000. Starting out as a small team, today the four partners Jürgen Steffens, Olaf Drehsen and the brothers Konstantin and Frederik Jaspert head an office with 140 employees from 27 nations. The partners come from the Rhine and Mosel regions and started on their architectural careers as RWTH students in Aachen. Günter Behnisch, Schuster Architects as well as Volkwin Marg (gmp) influenced their further professional development, followed by teaching posts and the establishment of the firm. In the last several years, JSWD has realized many projects in Germany and increasingly in other European countries, for the most part following successfully entered competitions.
JSWD finds further architectural, technical and intellectual inspiration in cooperative ventures with other architectural firms in France and Luxembourg, in the USA and in China while maintaining a collaborative exchange in the realization of joint construction projects.


Our architecture is characterized by a dense synthesis of shapes, functionality and select materials. These three elements are inseparable and assume an equal, playful bond with all other requirements of the construction task.

The resulting buildings reveal the continuous pursuit of conceptual formal clarity. Working with a limited range of clearly defined elements, the firm creates unambiguous hierarchies inside its buildings and in open spaces. The identity of each design evolves from the specific situation and the aspiration to reflect the user’s own image in corporate architecture.

By cooperating with other established specialist planners we handle all phases of HOAI [German Fee Structure for Architects] from pre-planning through to construction services. More than 80 architects are currently working on our projects in teams each made up of 3 - 10 members.

Today, contractors expect all buildings to meet the current standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. This is why we account for such aspects in the early phases of planning.

 Urban Design

Most of our projects have their roots in urban planning. We strive to rearrange urban centres and create clear places and space hierarchies. Built on this robust foundation, buildings and ensembles can develop anew and individually. Our goals are functioning intersections and a convincing interaction of new developments with the existing.

We do not consider tasks that are confined within a developed, urban context with its restrictions, historical context a limitation; far more we see it to be a challenge and source to inspire our creativity. JSWD Architects were able to win competitions when the requirement was to re-arrange complex and demanding inner-city zones and intersections in particular.

 Master Planning

If desired, we also act as general planners. We can combine under our directorship all planning required for the construction, including project management. This enables the client to communicate with only one person who is responsible for all issues concerning the overall project. Coordination and organisational aspects thus may be reduced to a minimum while consistently assuring high quality. While planning we communicate with specialist engineers who know our working techniques and have proven reliable over many years of cooperation. Construction projects of various type and sizes evolve under our planning supervision.

Corporate Architecture

The endeavor for conceptual and formal clarity, independent of scale, takes priority as far as each JSWD construction project is concerned. We develop the identity of our designs from the specifics of the situation, the location, the function as well as from our claim to reflect the self-image of the client expressed in the sense of an individual Corporate Architecture. Best-case scenario: we create an inspiring and identifying symbol of the culture a company lives and breathes.


Today, contractors expect all buildings to meet the current standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. This is why we account for such aspects in the early phases of planning. Parallel development of the structure, equipment and appliances, and the building shell has proven successful: The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB e. V.) already has awarded many projects of JSWD Architects, most recently the "Gold Certificate of Sustainability" for the building Q1 of the Thyssenkrupp Quarters in Essen.

Built Examples:

Headquarter Q1, Thyssenkrupp Quartier in Essen: DGNB Gold
Office Building of AOK in Essen: DGNB Gold
Headquarter der Enervie in Hagen: LEED Gold
Kurt-Masur-School in Leipzig: PPHP Passive-House-Standard
Office Building Europe Plaza in Stuttgart: DGNB Platinum
Headquarter of Brenntag Group in Essen: LEED Gold

Founding Partners

Frederik Jaspert
Frederik Jaspert | Vita
Konstantin Jaspert
Konstantin Jaspert | Vita
Jürgen Steffens
Jürgen Steffens | Vita
Olaf Drehsen
Olaf Drehsen | Vita

Associate Partners

Patrick Jaenke
Patrick Jaenke | Vita
Christian Mammel
Christian Mammel | Vita
Mario Pirwitz
Mario Pirwitz | Vita
Tobias Unterberg
Tobias Unterberg | Vita


JSWD Mitarbeiter

Mohamed Abdelmonem I Omar Alayli I Stephan Albrecht I Mohammed Al-Jabber I Karim Amer I Armaghan Amirhassankhani I Yihea Ashkar I Yildiz Atilgan I Michael Backes I Timo Bakri I Vivien Bastian I Arzu Bastug I Philipp Becker I Tobias Bley I Matthias Bockstruck I Andras Bodi I Lisa Bornholdt I Nina Breuer I Nathalie Carton Lou I Elena Chernyak I Martin Claßen I Ekin Dilek I Johanna Dettinger-Klemm I Sebastian Dewerenda I Ameline Dumuchel I Claire Dupré I Matteo Dürfeld I Nastaran Eidani Asl I Antje Eulenberg I Kareem Elnems I René Engels I Vasiliki Failadi I Yinglin Fan I Francisco Fajardo I Katarzyna Foszcz I Sebastian Fuchs I Irini Galarza I Julian Gross I Pei Gui I Luz Maria Gutiérrez I Sonja Gvozdenovic I Shara Haues I Stefan Haupt I Martin Heddinga I Sara Hengsbach I Stephanie Henke I Raoul van Herwijnen I Asmaa Hithnawi I Franziska Humperdinck I Florian Husemeyer I Lejla Huskic I Gergana Ivanova I Patrick Jaenke I Thomas Jansen I Luisa Jung I Ilse Kampers I Minjeong Kang I Young Kang I Elena Kantorovitch I Saadet Kahraman I Nadine Keller I Sebastian Kemper I Burak Kilic I Hyesu Kim I Sebastian Kimmer I Abraham Klagsbrun I Anne Kolb I Anastasiia Korovina I Henriette Kosel I Nils Kubischek I Michael Landin I Andreas Lepert I Lin Li I Ye Li I Christina Cojambopulo-Lindemann I Guido Litjens I Dongwei Liu I Zhuqing Lou I Kejun Luo I Sabrina Lupero-Reichert I Yanlin Ma I Yazir Mahmood I Omar Malass I Jennifer Maldener I Christian Mammel I Andrea Marxen I Laura Marche I Savina Mavrodontidou I Armin Memic I Andreas Meyer I Elisabeth Mohrs I Ruth Montejo I Gioia Murek I Ikenna Obianna I Annika Obst I Laura Offermann I Martin Oehme I Elena Orlowa I Xavier Osorio I Maroua Ben Othmann I Sung-Jean Park I Stephan Paschen I Sabine Piechotta I Mario Pirwitz I Maria Pitsiladi I Arno Pollmanns I Maria Renner I Anette Rickert I Felix Roder I Joanna Roer I Andrés Conesa Rosique I Anna Rozwadowska I Elena Sarigelinoglu I Mehtap Saltan I Désirée Schmitz I Helmut Schröder I Tina Schütte I Anna Schulz I Shidokht Shalapour I André Siering I Maen Shams Edden I Bilal Sinir I Daria Smirnova I Kim Karen Steffens I Sophie Stollenwerk I Thu Hang Ta I Armin Tillmann I Tobias Unterberg I Yeliz Uzunemin-Cay I Johanna Veith I Nicolas Velz I Ursula Vollmert I Julian Wachsmann I Meizhen Wan I Hannah Warrach I Alexandra Winnes I  Julius Weritz I Ellen Wölk I Sina Wolpert I Adam Wuttke I Bin Yang I Atakan Yilmaz I Yilmaz Yilmaz I Alessandro Zanola I Yunke Zheng I Fangyuan Zhang I Zhen Zhang I Zhizhe Zhang

Photo: JSWD


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