Europan Nederland

Experiences of former participants

"Europan is... a designer's treasure trove."

Winning Europan 2 gave our newly-established firm a flying start. The resulting design provided us with the opportunity of working on a large commission, one in which the client offered us room to develop new ways of thinking about housing, the living environment and parking.
The direct, but also the indirect results of the Europan competition are considerable and, when compared to other prizes, unparalleled. Not only for the designers, but also for the development of architecture, because of the way in which, time after time, the focus is on topical themes with respect to housing and the urban environment.

Bjarne Mastenbroek and Dick van Gameren
Winners Europan 2
Project realised (1997) in Nijmegen

"Europan is... Strawberry Fields Forever!"

Europan challenges architects to wave a magic wand over the present residential culture and wake it up. Our firm has always been fascinated by housing and, in past years, it has studied what housing is and what it could be.
The result of a study into temporary housing is the newly-completed Merry-Go-Round house, a summer house turned inside out for residential recreation. The new university library of the University of Amsterdam has been designed like a second home for students and, in Haarlem, we are building MySpace, a street with housing designed with the interior as the basis. This has led to the celebration of the interior, and to a manifesto for the emancipation of housing, with the architect as a source of inspiration and director.

Ira Koers
Winner Europan 4, site Emmen
together with Jurjen Zeinstra and Mikel van Gelderen

"Europan is... practically the only chance of a big brief without any references."

The significance of Europan was twofold for Atelier Kempe Thill. Winning Europan provided the necessary legitimisation, contacts, public attention and the guts to begin our own firm. Despite the fact that we were unable to realise our own project, and also the fact that the alternative brief has not been realised to date, Europan nonetheless proved a thundering starting shot in our careers.
At the same time our Europan entry can itself be read as a clear architectural manifesto. Those same ideals, which we formulated clearly for the first time ten years ago, still preoccupy us today and they have formed the basis for many of the buildings built, in which the Europan design can sometimes literally be retraced.

André Kempe and Oliver Thill
Winners Europan 5, site Rotterdam

"Europan is... Experimentation, Collaboration, Innovazione, Negociación, Créativité, Inspiração, Freshness, Compétence, Commitment, Pasión."

Casanova+Hernandez architecten won Europan 6 in Groningen in 2001 and Europan 7 in Den Haag in 2003 and, because of the experimental character of the winning projects, our bureau is often invited to design housing projects that are based on experimentation and the mixing of housing typologies.
In the Europan rounds in which we competed, it was essential to understand the given complex, urban situation and to offer an adequate solution on various scales. This integral vision has influenced the present organisation of the firm, which develops projects in the field of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.

Jesús Hernández and Helena Casanova
Winners Europan 6, site Groningen and Europan 7, site The Hague

"Europan is... a concrete design platform about what towns and cities are, were, and are becoming."

Although winning Europan has not yet led to a concrete building brief, the town design that we made for Enschede sowed the seed for our start as independent architects in the Netherlands and India, respectively.
The design for the Europan project arose from a shared attitude to design and further clarified our thinking on architecture. The design was an attempt to find an answer to the question of how architecture defines the limits of public space and how it can adjust itself in the continuum of its environment. With hindsight, this recurring question is still relevant for the present projects of Happel Cornelisse Architecten and Architecture BRIO.

Robert Verrijt and Floris Cornelisse
Winners Europan 8, site Enschede

"Europan is... the reason..."

Working on our entry in the evening hours and in the weekends, in addition to a regular job, Europan was an interesting finger exercise. However, when Emmie phoned us one cold January morning it meant a considerable change of direction in our working life, and our firm O+A is therefore a real child of Europan. It has proved to be a stepping stone with one provision: you have to prove yourself. We hope that Europan can continue to do the same thing for young designers for many years to come.

Auguste van Oppen and Marc van Asseldonk
Winners Europan 9, Amsterdam

For a complete overview of all quotes from the national Europan 10 publication, click here