First there is the location. The studio is situated on the quays of the river Maas on the Noordereiland (northern island). From here Rotterdam shows itself in its essence: an ever-changing skyline with in the foreground the stately river Maas where a miraculous amalgam of vessels passes 24 hours a day. The attraction of this image is based on the concurrency of continuity and change, a phenomenon that evokes both resolute calm and vivid hectic, thus forming a good breeding ground for creative spirits.
The Studio at the Maaskade has been set up as a point of reference, the place from where a heterogenous group of people operates in flexible teams on a variety of projects. Starting point is the collaboration of people with different expertise, bound by the drive to practice their art and their will to exchange knowledge and experience. The core group consists of befriended professionals from the worlds of architecture, urbanism, film and the arts who have achieved great results together before. Added to this is the intricate network of talented professionals with whom some of us have been collaborating before. The result is a productive knock-on effect that gives us the flexibility to put together the best team for every assignment.
An important inspiration for discussion and work are the individual affinities that are being exchanged within the studio. The discovery of an artist, who builds his own universe outside of the centre of attention can have a penetrating influence on one’s own work and thoughts. Important is to be receptive for these creative spirits with whom a natural bond exists. This sounds obvious within your own discipline, but it is the artists who work outside those boundaries that further broaden the vision and create new insights.
Travel and other cultures can have the same effect. Also here a spontaneous bond can emerge, where sometimes even during a short stay abroad your own background and conventions are placed within a new perspective.
Architecture is a discipline that cannot be separated from its social context. During the design process and in the discussion about design a level of autonomy in thinking is needed but in the end a return to the original motive for the design is necessary: without social relevance, in whichever way, architecture looses its value.
In the design process for a building many parties are involved, be it simultaneously or consecutively. The process is anything but predictable while the result is expected to work out for everybody. The architect is the director who is involved in the whole process from start to ending and it has become our second nature to build a good relationship with every party working on the process. We value the input of all stakeholders. This involvement is further fed by academic interaction, in seminars and schools, where new directions of thinking are developed.
It is our intention to define the working sphere of the studio in the broadest way. In our portfolio projects can be found from urban planning, buildings, a bridge, interiors to furniture and a mosaic in an entrance hall. It shows our drive for (applied) research and our connection and affinity with many cities abroad. We feel that working with this variety of aspects of our profession leads to a productive cross-fertilization. Working on radically different scales, in contrasting cultures and on both practical and theoretical levels at the same time, gives us deeper insights and a larger job satisfaction.
Way of working
Our ideas about involvement and exchange result in the interactive model studies that we use as means of communication in different phases of the design process. This gives the parties involved insight in the design process and gives us the possibility to show the consequences of their comments directly in the next phase.
Pleasure in our work is a priority for us. The projects that are put in front of us are very serious, the expectations high and the workload heavy. But lucid and imaginative thinking are equally essential as precise and hard work. Good architecture and good buildings do not result from mathematical formulas. We feel a great responsibility for the success of our projects, where many problems can be solved only within an enthusiastic, passionate atmosphere that allows to think outside of the beaten paths.