Architecture Everywhere collaboration launched by Dutch architecture community

Architecture Everywhere collaboration launched by Dutch architecture community

New partnership initiated by the Nieuwe Instituut aims to strengthen the position of Dutch architecture

Architecture Everywhere, a collaboration between various Dutch architecture organisations, was announced last Saturday, 29 June. The announcement was made during the opening of the 11th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR). In this new initiative, the Nieuwe Instituut is joined by the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA), the CoLA foundation for the coordination of local architectural initiatives, the Creative Industries Fund NL, the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, the Deltametropolis Association and VOLUME magazine.

Increasing the visibility of architects and designers

The aim of Architecture Everywhere is to bring together some of the most important representatives of the internationally renowned Dutch architecture community to work together to increase the visibility of architects and designers and thereby improve their connection with policymakers and the public. The initiative stems from a pledge made by the management of the Nieuwe Instituut in an open letter published in the NRC on 25 August 2023.

Spatial challenges 

The Netherlands faces major spatial challenges, including climate change, the energy transition and the development of a circular economy, as well as the ongoing task of building a large number of new homes. Architects, urban planners, and landscape architects are particularly skilled at translating (spatial) complexity into concrete (building) plans of high quality. A rich cultural architectural landscape can translate these ideas to the general public.

Strengthening the sector

For this reason, last year the Dutch House of Representatives adopted a motion by Sandra Beckerman (Socialist Party) to, among others, investigate the establishment of a new architecture institute. A roundtable discussion was also held with several representatives of the Dutch architecture community. It was concluded that the position of architects and the appreciation and recognition of their work need to be strengthened so that the sector can better contribute to the above-mentioned challenges.

Building on existing initiatives 

The participating organisations in Architecture Everywhere support this conclusion but do not believe that a new architecture institute is necessary. It is better to focus on improved collaboration between existing initiatives, institutes and organisations, and better alignment with policymakers, the construction sector and society. In addition, there is already a committed cultural landscape of (local) architecture centres that can take the conversation to the wider public.

Several concrete actions 

By working together, the signatories of Architecture Everywhere aim to better coordinate and align these existing initiatives. They will also provide additional support to policymakers to clarify the added value of architecture for the Netherlands. For example, through a practical introduction to the sector based on pressing issues, making it easier for politicians to access the right knowledge and contacts within the architecture sector. In addition, several of the coalition partners will jointly appoint an ambassador for spatial research and development, who can provide direct support to the Dutch House of Representatives, thus strengthening the contact with, development of and insight into architecture.

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