2017-12-16Souper #90

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The last supper of 2017 did not go as we hoped. We were pleased with Hans Ibelings The Architecture Observer) and Ed Taverne (emeritus professor of history of architecture and urban design at the University of Groningen). Hans was there on time out of the cold Canada. Ed unfortunately did not manage to travel from Groningen to Rotterdam on last December 11. Canadian weather affected the country. A lot of snow makes highways and railways impassable.

The large amounts of snow outside also gave us a reason to let Hans update us on Canada. I always think that this country is an ideal combination of the good from America and Europe, but nothing is less true. Hans told us with relevant details about life in this immense country. The country is more capitalistic and less social than you think you see from a distance.

Hans has been away from the Netherlands for a while, but he keeps a close eye on our architectural field in the Netherlands. He sees things from a distance sharp and gave a clear analysis on the architectural climate here, the decline of the institutions involved and possible causes. We tried to indicate exactly where and when this started. At the same time, he put the problems into perspective. In Canada, nothing really interesting happens in the field of urban design and architecture he assured us.

With Ed, we undoubtedly had more about the current discourse within the Dutch architecture world and more about their common interest in Eastern Europe. I did not want to miss the short course on Canada.

2017-11-01Souper #89

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End of October we had a beautiful Souper with Michiel Rexwinkel l (founder Greenchoice / investor green energy projects) and Dirk Sijmons (founder / partner H+N+S landscape architects). New Energy was the theme of the evening.

Michiel Rexwinkel and two partners founded energy company Greenchoice sixteen years ago. Their ambition was and is: a cleaner world through the use of sustainable energy. Greenchoice delivers that energy, but also lets customers generate renewable energy themselves. In 2002 the first customer received solar panels, in 2004 the first windmill was installed (on the A4 at Schiphol Airport, you know 'm well, he is now more radio mast than windmill). After one year Greenchoice had 5.000 customers, now there are more than 400.000 clients. Michiel is still a shareholder but now works outside Greenchoice on various other green energy projects, also outside the Netherlands.

With Dirk, spatial design, vision and research go hand in hand. Within H+N+S, Dirk has focused on sustainable energy and its spatial consequences and opportunities in recent years. Under his leadership, the publication Landscape and Energy will be published in 2014, in which the spatial consequences of the transition to sustainable energy will be investigated with the aid of a number of scenarios. For the 2016 Biennale, together with various companies and governments, he researched under the title '2050 An Energetic Odyssey' how deeply the energy transition from fossil to renewable energy sources actually is.

Michiel and Dirk did not know each other. Without realizing ourselves beforehand, we had gathered an unprecedented amount of knowledge at the table this evening about a new energy system. Michiel and Dirk told us with a contagious enthusiasm how we can become a smarter and more beautiful country. We as hosts became silent.

2017-10-01Soupet #88

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The last Monday of September were two consultants as guests Erick Haag (Haag Supply Management) and Erik Tetteroo (APPM Management Consultants). In restaurant Huson a relatively new world opened for us.

Erick and Erik have both followed a design education in Delft. Erick Industrial Design and Erik Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture. They found the processes in the design subject more interesting than creating new products and environments. We talked about the professional adviser in relation to designer. After this evening, I certainly do know these two different professions needs each other. An architectural or urban design is not always the solution of a problem. A process sometimes requires imagination to understand its impact. I believe that an ingenious plan arises from a brilliant process.

Erick now focuses on energy and supply chain of companies, and Erik is a specialist in bicycle mobility. Both say that they do not design anymore, but these subjects determine the layout of the future city in great measure. That cannot be a coincidence.

2017-09-01Souper #87

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Last Monday of August, Landscape Architect Steven Delva (Delva Landscape Architects) and Marco Broekman (Marco Broekman Urbanism Research) joined us in Restaurant Huson.

Steven and Marco each have a portfolio of fantastic projects, interesting studies, impressive strategies. Obviously, they simply switch between designer, researcher and spatial strategic thinker. It is therefore not strange that they won various competitions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht for the development of new neighborhoods or transformation of existing industrial areas into bustling city districts.

In addition to all these roles, they are also entrepreneurs. Steven hires a part of his office in Amsterdam as a luxury Bed & Breakfast and Marco regularly seeks strategic partnerships with (inter)national parties to expand his work. Started in time of crisis they have both solid office by using the right knowledge and skills. Respect!

2017-07-01Souper #86

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Jan Dekkers (entrepreneur in building construction) and Fenna Haakma Wagenaar (Municipality of Rotterdam) were our guests at the end of June in restaurant Huson.

Jan graduated as a construction designer with specialization: prefab concrete. He started his career as a manager of a concrete factory, followed by several director positions at various construction companies (IBC, Heijmans, Hurks, Bruil). At the moment he is working on different innovations in the prefab industry.

Fenna, after her turnarounds at OMA, Herzog de Meuron, SANAA and the municipality of London, is now working as an urbanist for the centre area at the municipality of Rotterdam.

Our guests had little in common in terms of work and personality. Jan is a modest and technical man in charge of building construction. Fenna is undecided and works as an idea woman at a very early stage of the design process.