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While Dutch architecture gained international recognition with Superdutch, for years Flemish architecture was seen as ‘ugly’ and ‘chaotic’. However, in recent years, another more poetic image has emerged in Flanders and a group of Dutch architects has shown an affinity with this style and working method. They share a special feeling for composition, rhythm and materiality, which gives their work a well-considered quality. During this evening, we will explore this merging of aesthetics, which is surprising given the cultural, spatial differences and distinct architectural traditions.

This dialogue between the Netherlands and Flanders is the first in an international series organised by Het Nieuwe Instituut. Each conversation is devoted to a particular theme: ‘Maatwerk Without Borders’ (27 October, Rotterdam), ‘Radicality & Poetry’ (9 November, Frankfurt), ‘Composition & Materials’ (24 November, Antwerp) and ‘Context & Place’ (8 December, Frankfurt). The series is associated with the exhibition Maatwerk / Massarbeit in the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (8 October – 12 February 2017). Het Nieuwe Instituut has supported this exhibition with loans from the National Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning.

The series of dialogues has been initiated and made possible by Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Agency for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture in partnership with the Flanders Architecture Institute. The selection of practices has been made partially by Jantje Engels and Marius Grootveld, who have curated part of the exhibition Maatwerk / Massarbeit.

More information about the dialogues.

Floris Cornelisse - Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven

Floris Cornelisse studied architecture at Delft University of Technology. In 2007 he established the architecture practice Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven with Ninke Happel and Paul Verhoeven. Since its inception, the practice has focussed on the Dutch and Belgian markets, undertaking a range of commissions for buildings, conversions and public interiors. Since 2010 Cornelisse has taught on the Interiors Buildings Cities course at the Delft University of Technology and lectures regularly at home and abroad.

Koen van Velsen

Koen van Velsen and his practice have built up a varied portfolio including housing, offices, cultural and educational buildings, healthcare and infrastructure projects. Despite their diversity, the projects have many common elements such as the attention to the building’s relationship to its environment, cohesion, quality of space and detailing. Koen van Velsen is the recipient of the Mart Stam Prize, the Rietveld Prize and BNA Cube, the lifetime achievement award of the Bond van Nederlandse Architecten. Between 2009 and 2015, Van Velsen occupied the post of Spoorbouwmeester (Chief Railway Architect) on behalf of Nederlandse Spoorwegen and ProRail.

Floris De Bruyn - GAFPA

Floris De Bruyn received his MA in architecture from the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Ghent in 2005. In 2008 he established GAFPA in Ghent together with Philippe De Berlangeer and Frederick Verschueren. The practice is known for its pragmatic approach in which the existing context is dismantled and reworked to create a new reality. GAFPA works at a variety of scales and collaborates with writers, artists and other architecture practices. Since 2008 De Bruyn has taught at the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Ghent, where he leads the ‘Primary Structure’ course in the MA in advanced architectural design. He frequently serves as jury member and mentor.

Freek Dendooven - Raamwerk

Freek Dendooven graduated cum laude from the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Gent in 2010. After working for Sum in Brussels and Nu Architectuuratelier in Ghent, he established Raamwerk in 2014 together with Gijs De Cock and Jon D’haenen. The practice stands for a logical and buildable architecture that transcends trends and styles. As designers, they attempt to integrate the history and tradition of the architectural landscape into a personal narrative without historicising. In this way, they attempt to achieve a sustainable architecture that transcends the contemporary.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam

Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.