The New European Bauhaus: How can the wood sector engage, contribute and co-create?

Virtual Conference 8 April 2021, 10:00 – 16:00 CET

The European Commission’s New European Bauhaus calls for a creative, interdisciplinary movement to imagine together a sustainable future and to engage on a transformative path towards affordable and beautiful living spaces in the urban and rural environment.

Welcoming this initiative, the European wood-based sector created an open platform “Wood4Bauhaus” that brings together its manifold stakeholders. The conference raised awareness for the transformative power of the Circular Economy and put a spotlight on the versatility of innovative wood-based products and building systems.

All presentations and discussions are available as video recordings below.

download-programmeDownload Complete program

Part I

Vision of the New European Bauhaus and its opportunities

Moderator part I and part II

Prof. Dr. Andreja Kutnar. Moderator

University of Primorska & InnoRenew CoE, Slovenia
icono-web logo-linkedin logo-linkedin

InnoRenew Center of Excellence is an independent research institute established in 2017 a major teaming project co-financed by the Horizon 2020 programme, with an international, interdisciplinary staff of 50 scientists and professionals. Research targets renewable materials and sustainable buildings, specifically innovative approaches to wood and its use, with the goal of transferring scientific knowledge into industrial practice. InnoRenew CoE’s mission is to advance the state of the art and achieve scientific and innovation excellence through interdisciplinary science, especially in our two key research areas: wood modification and restorative environmental and ergonomic design (REED).

Dr. Andreja Kutnar is full professor in the field of wood science at the University of Primorska in Koper, Slovenia and Director of the InnoRenew Center of Excellence. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of WoodScience and Technology. She was Executive Board member of InnovaWood for six years and is currently President of the Society of Wood Science and Technology Executive Board. She was recognized with the Prometheus of Science for Excellence in Commuication” award and received the distinguished Zois Certificate of Recognition for important scientific achievements in the field of wood science. In 2020 she was included in the prestigious European Commission campaign #EUwomen4future that draws attention to outstanding women working in research, innovation, education, culture and sport.

Keynote presentation: The vision of a New European Bauhaus

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber

PIK Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
icono-web icono-stars icono-bio

Hans Joachim (“John”) Schellnhuber is a leading Systems Physicist and Climate Scientist. He is the mastermind behind the idea that a New Bauhaus movement can mobilise the creative and collaborative forces of our society to bring about a systemic change to the way we build our cities and rural areas and the way we interact with the earth system. Forests and wood products, being the main natural resource that can effectively absorb carbon from the athomsphere and store it in the built environment, play a key role in his surprisingly simple but revolutionary solution.

John Schellnhuber is Founding Director and Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which he led from 1991 until 2018. He served as scientific advisor to a number of eminent political and religious leaders, including the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Pope Francis. Until 2020, he was a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) ever since its establishment in 1992. He also contributed in various ways to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is member of several science academies and received numerous prizes and honoray achievements for his influential work.

The New European Bauhaus: a beautiful, sustainable and inclusive transformation movement for Europe

Ruth Reichstein

European Commission, I.D.E.A. Advisory Board to the President, Green Deal & New European Bauhaus
icono-web logo-linkedin

Ruth Reichstein works in I.D.E.A., the Advisory Board of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. She works with Green Deal related issues and coordinates the New European Bauhaus initiative. Ruth is a trained journalist and occupied several positions before joining the Commission beginning of 2019; both as communicator in the European Parliament and as journalist for several German news outlets such as “die tageszeitung”, “ARD” and “Deutschlandfunk”.

Co-creating for a new era of sustainable building solutions

Paul Brannen

Director of Public Affairs for CEI-Bois and EOS, Former MEP
icono-web logo-linkedin logo-linkedin

Paul Brannen leads the advocacy engagement of the European woodworking and sawmill industries towards the European institutions especially the Parliament and the Commission. Increasing the use of sustainable wood products in construction and in the Renovation Wave are the priorities with their contribution to helping tackle climate change being central.

Paul is a former UK Member of the European Parliament who in the last parliament served on both the Environment Committee and the Agriculture Committee. He led for the Socialists & Democrats political grouping on forestry and timber issues and was a rapporteur on the last EU forest strategy and on the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry legislation where he was instrumental in achieving the inclusion of the promotion of long-life harvested wood products, particularly engineered timbers, for use in the construction industry. Paul was also vice chair of the Club de Bois.

Before becoming an MEP Paul worked for the development charity Christian Aid as head of advocacy working primarily on climate change. Earlier roles were with the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Labour Party and HSBC.

Circular products enabled by the multi-talent material wood

Martin Brettenthaler

CEO of Swiss Krono Group, on behalf of EPF Managing Board
icono-web logo-linkedin logo-linkedin

Martin Brettenthaler is CEO of SWISS KRONO Group, a private company that has been developing the natural raw material of wood into industrially engineered woods used in the fields of flooring, interiors and building materials for more than 50 years. The company operates ten plants in eight countries and generates a turnover of CHF 1.8 billion. Driven by a desire for product quality and cost-effectiveness, Mr Brettenthaler motivates more than 5100 employees toward top performance. As a result, SWISS KRONO continues to bring innovative products such as the COREPEL board, to market. In order to ensure the long-term success of SWISS KRONO, the company focuses on growth and recently made major investments in new HDF, chip and OSB facilities at various plants. Sustainability and indoor air quality are very important and the company has taken a leading role in these matters. In order to actively help shape industry developments, Mr Brettenthaler has served on the board of the European Panel Federation as well as other federations, and he will represent EPF in this conference.

How can the wood sector co-create with other disciplines in the New Bauhaus?

Dr. Uwe Kies

Secretary General of the InnovaWood network, Belgium
icono-web logo-linkedin logo-linkedin

Uwe Kies is Secretary General of InnovaWood, which represents a common voice for promoting more impact from innovative uses of wood, Europe’s main abundant renewable raw material, in line with the major policies of the European Union. Founded in 2003, InnovaWood has grown today a major European network in the forestry, woodworking and furniture sector. The overall aim is to bring business benefit to the value chain by providing a forum for the member organisations and contribute to the competitive development of the European forest-based sector.

Uwe is an experienced international project manager, advisor and communicator. He has broad expertise in forest-based industries, forest products and digitalization in the sector. He holds a MSc in forest information technologies and a PhD in natural sciences from the University of Münster in Germany. He was/is involved in the coordination of several EU-funded projects on innovative topics in the forest-based sector, e.g. FP7 IN2WOOD, RERAM, SIMWOOD and H2020 SecureChain, WoodCircus, ROSEWOOD4.0, BASAJAUN.

Q&A session Part I

Part II

Natural building materials and energy efficiency: strengths of wood solutions

Creative urban renewal with New Bauhaus: construction sector rediscovers wood

Francisco Mangado & Fernando Oiza

Architects, Spain

Born in Navarra in 1957, Francisco Mangado is an architect from the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra, where he has been working as an extraordinary professor since 1982. He has been visiting professor at the Graduate School of Design from Harvard University, Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architecture at Yale University School of Architecture, visiting professor at l ' École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Baird / Gensler Visiting Professor at Cornell University and Visiting Professor at the Polytechnic of Milan. In 2014 the Universidad Congreso de Ciudad de Mendoza-Argentina awarded him the title of Honorary Professor.

Green solutions in public buildings: the Olympic village 2024 in Paris France

Georges-Henri Florentin

President of France Bois 2024, France
icono-web logo-linkedin

The France Bois 2024 project was set up to promote the use of wood construction and development solutions, particularly in France, in the achievements of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Wood is essential to achieve the carbon objectives of the Olympic Games aligned with the Paris agreement. The Paris Games are an opportunity for the wood construction and development sector to demonstrate its capacities, its skills and its ecological assets. and societal with clients and the French general public. France Bois 2024 is supported and funded by CODIFAB (Professional Committee for the Development of French Furniture and Wood Industries) and by the national inter-professional organization France Bois Forêt.

Georges-Henri FLORENTIN is President of France Bois 2024 project. He is corresponding member of the Académie d’Agriculture de France since 2011. With a degree as Agricultural engineer INA-PG), he began his career as a forester within the ONF Office National des Forets. He has been Director of the Construction Division and CEO (since 2010) of the FCBA French Technological Institute (forest cellulose wood-construction furniture). Member of the CSTB technical advice advisory committee in 2005 and of its steering committee in 2009, he is a strong promoter of the use of wood materials in construction and value products. At European level, he co-chaired the European committee for standardization TC 175 WG2 sawn timber and round timber from 1987 to 1991.

Innovative industrial building solutions for better living and working

Andrew Waugh

Director, Waugh Thistleton Architects, UK
icono-web logo-linkedin

Andrew has been director of Waugh Thistleton Architects for the last 15 years. He lives and works in Shoreditch, London. Andrew was an early pioneer in the architectural quest for tall timber buildings with Waugh Thistleton’s nine-storey timber Murray Grove project in 2009. Waugh Thistleton continue to build internationally in timber and Andrew continues a passionate interest in tall timber construction as the only replenishable carbon-capturing structural building material known to man. With this passion Andrew teaches, learns and lectures on the architecture of wood all over the world.

Over the last 18 years Andrew has worked on award winning schemes from cinemas to synagogues, social housing to shopping centres. Andrew is a dedicated advocate of timber construction having been responsible for the pioneering Stadhaus, a nine story timber residential tower. He continues to encourage his clients to look at the feasibility and benefits of sustainable design and construction in their schemes.

In 2010 Andrew was awarded the RIBA president’s medal for research for his work on the feasibility and practice of timber structures for high rise buildings. He continues to research from within the practice and lectures across the work with a focus on sustainability, timber construction and the future of architecture.

Biophilic design: wood for interior delivering health benefits and well- being

Oliver Heath

Designer, UK

Oliver Heath Design is a London-based research-led sustainable architecture and interior design practice focused on improving health and well being in the built environment. Biophilic Design uses human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes to improve the many spaces we live and work in. Key aspects include improving natural light, improving views onto nature, incorporating natural materials, textures & patterns, ventilating spaces and creating restorative spaces. Through strengthening the human connection with nature we can deliver significant benefits to the health and well being of the many spaces we live and work in with a research led approach and demonstrable results. Biophilic Design can be used to improve: Offices, Hospitality spaces, Education spaces, Healthcare spaces, Retail spaces, Homes.

Q&A session Part II

Part III

Good practices and solutions of Circular Economy and Green Building

Moderator part III

Dr. Anne-Christine Ritschkoff. Moderator

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
icono-web logo-linkedin

Anne-Christine Ritschkoff obtained her PhD in Biosciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland in 1996. She has been at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, a globally networked, multi technological not-for-profit research organization, since 1987 in various research and management positions. She has more 100 scientific publications from the fields of biotechnology, materials science and natural resources.

She holds currently the position of Senior Advisor, bioeconomy and circular economy. Her special task is to foster technologies, knowledge and practical solutions in the area of natural resources, environmental and clean technologies and resource efficiency. Her previous position as VTT´s Scientific Director & CTO gave her an excellent background and insight of different technologies and scientific disciplines. She promotes enthusiastically new, sustainable solutions and radical innovations for the benefit of the society and economy by integration of different competences and disciplines. She is also actively building strategic networks between Research & Development & Innovation, industry and commerce and government.

Climacustic: a modular, sound-absorbent insulating panel element from wood-fibres

Alessandro Fantoni

Commercial Director, Fantoni SPA, Italy
icono-web logo-linkedin

FANTONI Spa is a major Italian and international corporation, headed by the Fantoni family since 1882 through five generations. The Group is lead producer of chipboard and MDF panels, laminates and melamine papers and key player on the office furniture and sound absorption systems scene. The Climacustic system has recently received the National Prize for Innovation from the hands of the Italian President.

Alessio Fantoni is Commercial Director for the Office and Acoustic Panelling division. From an early age he has been involved in many departments of the company. He covers various roles within the board of directors of Assufficio and FederlegnoArredo Giovani (Italian Associations of Furniture Manufacturers). In 2011 he became Area Manager of the Office and Acoustic Panelling divisions of the Fantoni Group for CSI, Germany and the USA. Since 2012 he has been Sales Manager for Italy in the Office division. Since 2015 he has been president of Patt Spa and Vice president of La-con (the Group company specialised in the production of laminates and melamine papers), and the Managing Director of Fantoni spa since 2016.

Wood construction solutions for a better living and a better future

Michelle Quintão

Group Marketing Director, Sonae Arauco, Portugal
icono-web logo-linkedin

Sonae Arauco is one of the world’s most relevant players in the wood-based solutions industry and the result of a joint-venture between Sonae Indústria and Arauco. This partnership was born to create added-value wood solutions for a better world and brighter future, and encompasses wood-based panelling, chemical and impregnated paper plants in Europe and South Africa. With about 700 Million EUR turnover, 20 factories and commercial offices in 8 countries and 2 continents, and with circa 2,800 employees, Sonae Arauco’s products can be found in over 75 countries, taking our inspiration everywhere.

Q&A session Part III A

Structural insulating panel using wood and biobased materials

Alfonso Muñoz

Commercial and Marketing Director, Grupo Garnica Plywood, Spain
icono-web logo-linkedin

Alfonso Muñoz is Commercial and Marketing Director at Garnica Group, the leading polar plywood manufacturer with over internationally. Based in Logroño, La Rioja, Spain, since 75 years, the company offers plywood products to automobile, furniture, marine, home decor, and construction industry clients worldwide. The quality of products makes Garnica a recognized brand for its quality, sustainability and trust. The G-Brick Structural insulated decorative panels is a product line with outstanding qualities regarding highly compression-resistant insulation, high mechanical performance, and maximum structural strength and durability. It is a prime quality product based on sustainable wood materials for wider application in building and renovation.

Design for disassembly: a circular expo amphitheatre in wood

Steven Ware

ArtBuild, France
icono-web logo-linkedin

Born in London and raised in Jamaica, Steven studied biology at Western University and architecture at the Architectural Association. As a partner with Art&Build architects, he steers the development and application of bio-adaptive design principles, seeking new ways to fuse ethics and aesthetics. With decades of design awards behind them, the Europe-based practice features an internal Lab whose teams work with biologists, academics, industrialists, and research groups to develop biomimetic concepts which can be transferred to mainstream construction practice. Notable projects include Europe’s largest new healthcare project - Nantes teaching hospital - and dozens of mass timber projects both delivered and under construction across Europe. Steven lectures widely on subjects that bridge biology and the built environment, exploring the very nature of intelligence informing architects and the building sector at large.

Furniture and interior: Windows using recovered wood

Uroš Gantar

Project manager R&D M’Sora d.o.o., Slovenia
icono-web logo-linkedin ico-doc

M SORA produces high quality wooden and aluminium clad wooden windows, responding to trends of modern architecture. Introducing most innovative materials and processes, the company closely cooperates with universities, institutes and other companies in various R&D projects. One example is the Ziri Farming Cooperative facilitating the purchase of agricultural and forestry products. M SORA has an own R&D team of 15 staff and has been part of over 19 successful R&D projects since 2011.

Uroš Gantar is a civil engineer and R&D project manager at M SORA. He currently coordinates the Slovenian R&D project »WOOLF - Wood and wood products over a lifetime«, integrating knowledge from civil engineering and wood science fo new applications.

End of life / Recycling: Furniture boards from recovered wood

Veronique Hoflack

President, Unilin Panels, Belgium
icono-web logo-linkedin

Veronique Hoflack (Belgium) is the President of Unilin Panels and member of the Unilin Group Management Committee. She began her career as consultant with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Credit Suisse and Bain & Company, after which she took up various management positions in Balta Group as of 2011. In 2014 she started with Unilin Panels as General Manager for all MDF/HDF activities and became the division’s President in 2020.

UNILIN Panels – part of the UNILIN Group – has been supplying innovative wood based solutions for building and interior design projects since 1960. Its chipboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF), High-Density fibreboard (HDF), High Pressure Laminate (HPL) and melamine- faced chipboards find their way to merchants in building materials and timber, industrial processors and DIY-chains worldwide. The division has over 1,300 employees. UNILIN Group is a segment of Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK).

Q&A session Part III B

Closing statements


Get connected to the wood4bauhaus Alliance

Subscribe to our news and future events by providing your personal and company details using the following form. Your subscription will be confirmed to you by e-mail. Feel also free to check out our social media channels and follow us. For any questions please contact