Discover Benelux | Top Architects in the Netherlands | Creating Quality of Life
Handelskade. Photo: R. Tilleman
Architecture as a transformative power TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN
harbour being transformed and with all that raw material in our vicinity, we get inspired to discover what makes us tick.” Yanovshtchinsky joined the architect business in 1983 and has a formidable track record when it comes to projects in the Netherlands and abroad, with several awards to boot. A bureau that does not settle for less, VYa draws inspiration from surroundings and adds a spark to the area around a project, filling a void that many did not know was there.
“We believe as architects that every single action we take allows us to transform and improve our present surroundings in a sustainable future and bring the visible and hidden treasures our environment offers to life. Good design is a means to achieve this ambition and offers us a playing field to explore the riches of our profession. We take great pride in what we design. We like to see our work being appreciated and embraced. Years after, we love to look back with the same pride we started with.”
Those are the words of architect Vera Yanovshtchinsky and senior architect Sjoerd Beerends. Her Bureau VYa resides in The Hague, a stone’s throw away from the North Sea. Yanovshtchinsky: “It’s always beautiful here, whether the sun shines or a storm rages. There’s a nearby
That particular approach permeates especially through the Handelskade project in Nijmegen. Yanovshtchinsky: “Handelskade is a dense urban residential area we designed. It’s situated next to Nijmegen’s quay, with the river Waal flowing north of it and the harbour on the west side. Water became a huge inspiration; I wanted to
22 | Issue 42 | June 2017
connect the whole development with the quay and give a part of the city back to the public, because that part was previously cut off from them. Crown jewel ‘De Lunet’ is a high-rise that has a tactile, modern feel to it with fluid shapes like ripples in water shaped by the wind. As with a lot of projects of ours, the building has a different feel to it, whether you look at it from afar, up close or on top.” She continues: “We love a good challenge and the adventure of approaching a design brief as something that we do for the first time: curious, fresh and unrestricted. We often work with clients who have an implicit request that requires further formulating, so we try to get to the core of it. To do that, we cross cut the question and use our expertise to get to the deep-rooted essence of ‘What is it all about?’. A lot of extraordinary things can happen if you
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