Lecture date: 2010-10-12
‘Mecanoo is a symphony orchestra and I am its conductor’ Francine Houben
Francine Houben directs her team at Mecanoo architecten to create buildings and places characterised by a strong contextual sense for user and environment. In ‘Dutch Mountains’ she presents the vision and philosophy behind her work, with the Birmingham Library (UK, due for completion 2013) as part of an increasingly international portfolio.
Other projects include the Technical University of Delft Library (1998) and Campus Masterplan (2002), St Mary of the Angels Chapel, Rotterdam (2001), Montevideo, Rotterdam (2006), FiftyTwoDegrees in Nijmegen (2007), La Lotja Theatre and Conference Centre, Lleida, Spain (2010), the Wei Wu Ying Center for the Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2013) and the Library of Birmingham. Houben has held professorships in Holland and abroad, and in 2007 was visiting professor at Harvard University. In 2001 she published her seminal manifesto about architecture: Composition, Contrast, Complexity. As curator of the First International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam in 2003, she foregrounded the theme of mobility.