The FRAME Awards were announced at a gala event in Amsterdam last week. Philippe Starck won a Lifetime Achievement award and Faye Toogood was named ‘Designer of the Year’ award, but the international winners also include plenty of Dutch designers.read more
The best examples
Over 1200 architects are a member of the the association of Dutch Architects (Branchevereniging voor Nederlandse Architectenbureaus; "BNA"). The architect sector is increasingly working together with other bureaus and construction parties at home and abroad. Assignments that are easier and does not involve complex legislation is often performed by smaller agencies. The more complex assignments are often given to larger agencies. By combining forces smaller agencies are now regularly able to realise large and complex projects.
Their clients are often local governments (particulary municipalities) and educational establishments. The sector has been hard hit by the crisis and the turnover and the number of employees went down by almost 60%, from 1.7 billion euro to 0.7 billion euro. Employment went down from 19,500 FTE in 2008 to 9,000 FTE today. Most agencies have reported that the amount of work is little and fluctuates, but that it is stabilising, with the exception of a group of bureaus who employ 20 to 40 employees and have a 'normal' workload.
In 2014, the turned is expected to be less negative. Sustainability, chain collaboration, re-use, tailor-made work, the ageing population and new additional services offer opportunities. Architects don't just take care of good buildings, but also ensure a better living, healthcare, educational and working environment. The sector is also at the forefront of innovation: whether it is about more sustainable, smarter use of precious space or using better materials. Tenders are also become more 'flexible and light', allowing more and more space for 'creativity, emotion and normal conversation'. We are seeing more and more limited bidding.
Dutch architects are particularly known for qualities and specialisations such as thinking out-of-the-box, their pragmatic approach and cost containment. And let's not forget our ability to come up with the most innovative solutions and applications and our collaboration skills. The Netherlands is renowned for its Water management and Urban Planning, and our ability to use small surfaces as optimally as possible.