Ben van Berkel was born in 1956 in the Netherlands. He studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and the Architectural Association in London where he earned his degree in 1987. He founded Van Berkel & Bos Architectuurbureau in 1988 with Caroline Bos (born in 1959) and immediately began delivering projects that earned him a privileged place on the international architectural scene, of which the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam (1996) is an emblematic example. He has taught at Princeton University, Columbia University, the Berlage Institute and UCLA. He is currently professor and heads the department of architecture at the Staedelschule in Frankfort. His collaboration with Caroline Bos and his experience as an architect led him to found UNStudio in 1999. The firm incorporates a body of multidisciplinary data to organize space as an “open energy system” in its architectural approach. Among the projects built by the firm are the Valkhof Museum (1998), the Prince Claus Bridge (2003) and more recently, the Mercedes Benz Museum (2006) and the Agora Theater in Lelystad (2002 – 2007).
UNStudio tackles urban issues by relying on the concept of “Deep Planning,” an architectural approach that blends the composite elements of the city by emphasizing their interdependence. The project for the Arnhem Central district in the Netherlands (1996 – 2010) results from this urban conceptualization.
© Ben Van Berkel
this video :
Ben Van Berkel speech video
Friday, 2nd October 2009
at Centre Pompidou
In pictures :
1. Plan directeur du quartier de la gare – Masterplan of the Station Area, Gijon, ES, 2005
2. Plan directeur du quartier de la gare – Masterplan of the Station Area, Gijon, ES, 2005