03 2019
March 2019
« Feb    
26/02 2019

A brick-red book about Utopia

Following a sequence of awards and honours, KAAN Architecten published a “brick-coloured” book about Utopia Library and Academy for Performing Arts in Aalst capturing the intricacies of its design.

The book includes a text written by architecture critic Ruud Brouwers describing the history of this peculiar project and its relation to the city of Aalst, accompanied by a rich illustrative and photographic documentation.

Utopia Library and Academy for Performing Arts has been slotted into the urban fabric of the city center creating three new squares alongside adjacent streets. The new building integrates into its design the ‘Pupillenschool’ building from 1880: its historic façades blending perfectly with the new structure through a dialogue of materials.

The complex is enriched by the vibrancy of the two seemingly opposite programs it comprises – the library and the academy for performing arts. The windows offer unobstructed views through the building showcasing the bookshelves and the rehearsal spaces for the various performing arts. The complex is not ornamented but is itself an ornament for the city.

Browse the full publication here.


21/02 2019

Utopia wins FRAME People’s Vote Award 2019

The project of Utopia Library and Academy for Performing Arts has won FRAME Awards 2019 people’s vote as Best Governmental Interior of the Year.

Vincent Panhuysen (KAAN Architecten founding partner) and Bas Barendse (project architect) attended the award ceremony in the name of the building team.

The project is the result of a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) based on a Design & Build contract, with Van Roey as main contractor and KAAN Architecten as leading architect, working in close collaboration. Utopia opened to the public in June 2018 and since then has been an important landmark for the Aalst community.

Here you can see the full list of winning projects of the Frame Awards 2019.


14/02 2019

Three projects in France to be completed in 2019

Three projects by KAAN Architecten are currently under construction in France. Due to great progress over the past year, all the buildings will be finished in the coming months. These new projects add to the existing French opus of KAAN Architecten, highlighted by last year’s Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay.

The monolithic Cité de Métiers et de l’Artisanat in Lille is a multi-use building featuring a different programme on each floor: public space on the ground floor, education and offices on the first and second floor respectively, while the auditorium is placed at the core of the building. The project was done in collaboration with local architects Pranlas-Descours architect & associates.

Additionally in Lille, a mixed use complex Ilot 13 is in its final stages. Located right along the canal of the Deûle river, the set of buildings will encompass residential units, offices and a group of commercial spaces located on the lower levels.

Meanwhile in Nantes, Bottière-Chênaie project is set to revitalize a high-traffic area in the north-eastern part of the city, and bring residential, commercial and office buildings together into a comfortable whole.

Photographs by: Sebastian van Damme (Cité de Métiers et de l’Artisanat, Ilot 13) and Dimitri Lamour (Bottière-Chênaie).



05/02 2019

KAAN Architecten to participate in BYHMC competition

Based on 165 applications from 36 countries, KAAN Architecten is among 10 leading international architecture firms selected to participate in the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre competition in Kiev, Ukraine. Other participants moving further into the Stage 1 of the competition include Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Eisenman Architects, and Dorte Mandrup A/S.

The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre will be located in Kiev, near the site of the historical events in the Babyn Yar ravine. The new center aims to commemorate and reflect on the mass shootings that occurred in 1941, in addition to being a platform for research and public discourse. The project will include exhibition and public event spaces, centers for research and education as well as a memorial park.

Following the preselection and Stage 1 results due in spring, only four to six participants will go on to Stage 2 with the final winner being announced at the end of July. For more information on the competition and the memorial visit the BYHMC website.

Photographs courtesy of [phase eins]


04/02 2019

Central Post receives national monument status

In a recent announcement by the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency, Stationspostgebouw in Rotterdam – now commonly known as Central Post, has been categorized as a national monument. This title comes just in time to mark the tenth year since the building was transformed by KAAN Architecten into a contemporary and multifunctional office building. 

Built in the late fifties by architects Herman and Evert Kraaijvanger, Central Post stood 15 stories tall, making it one of the highest buildings in Rotterdam which was undergoing extensive reconstruction at the time. The building featured an extensive art collection as well as an original Louis van Roode art piece covering the entire height of the building.

Decades later due to the modernization of the postal process, the building fell into disuse. KAAN Architecten was commissioned for exterior restoration work and transformation of the interior which included insertion of hanging floors replacing the mail sorting machine. The result was a 90% increase in floor area and a listed building that achieved a Class A Energy Label. It is currently one of the five most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands.

The existing cores on both sides of the building were updated. The long office floors were divided by a wall to reduce the size of rentable units and to create fire proofing compartments. A corporate penthouse is housed on the top floor, with a terrace overlooking the city, while the ground-floor uses and tenants add vibrancy to a completely new and contemporary Delftseplein. Meanwhile, the numerous integrated art pieces were kept in their original place, restored, or if possible returned.

Explore the full project here.

Photographs courtesy of Luuk Kramer (featured image) and Christian Richters.

25/01 2019

The year in review at Paleis Het Loo

After a winning proposal for renovation and reconstruction of Paleis Het Loo, this January marks the anniversary of starting the construction of the project. Within the year, the groundwork began to make room for the new underground entrance of the museum.

To enable the underground connection to the former palace, the side wings of the building had to be supported by a temporary foundation of steel beams, which made them seemingly floating above ground. Simultaneously, the square in front of the palace is being excavated, to make room for the new entrance facilities and exhibition spaces.

On the inside, operations for removing asbestos are well under way. The interior is being carefully dismantled in order to preserve the original elements from the 1600s but remove the dangerous substance that was placed in the museum during the 1970s. Once the renovation and removal of asbestos are finished, all the pieces will be put back in place.

The completion of the project is set for 2021. Meanwhile, explore the design or watch the year recap video.

Photographs courtesy of Paleis Het Loo.

15/01 2019

‘Non-Super Dutch’ – WA magazine issue curated by Kees Kaan

In order to present the exciting new currents of Dutch architecture, Chinese magazine World Architecture (WA) has invited Kees Kaan to curate the issue aptly titled ‘Non-Super Dutch’.

In his opening statement, Kees Kaan elaborates on the contemporary developments in Dutch building culture: “The Netherlands has an ideal culture for conventional architecture. The cultural consensus here leaves no room for the unbridled creativity of a genius. Property development has been regulated in such a way that all parties involved or tangential to the process have a right to voice their interests or concerns.” By default, this has influenced the role of the architect within that process, making it a role of inspiration, storytelling, conception and management. “Architects have relinquished control as master builders and are not the sole authority on how to build, but are now professional advisors in teams of interested parties,” says Kaan.

Along with Kaan, a group of independent writers – such as Ruud Brouwers, Kirsten Hannema and Yang Zhang, have contributed to revising the iconic, yet outdated notion of ‘Super Dutch’. Moreover, the issue includes a project selection which is completely arbitrary, in order to showcase a diverse range programs and typologies in recent architectural production.

Read the full opening statement here.


18/12 2018

A visit to the KMSKA construction site

On a recent visit to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, photographer Sebastian van Damme recorded instances from the ongoing renovation. Explore the full photo report below!

The complete overhaul of Antwerp’s prestigious institution aims to restore the original routing and decorations dignifying the intrinsic qualities of the space, while the new extension enriches the museum experience through contemporary practices. End of construction is expected in 2021, while the museum will open its doors to visitors in early 2022.

Photography by Sebastian van Damme.

11/12 2018

Ilot 13 nearing completion

Construction of KAAN Architecten’s mixed use complex in Lille, France is in its final stages. Located right along the canal of the Deûle river, the set of buildings will encompass residential units, offices and a group of commercial spaces located on the lower levels.

End of construction is expected in 2019. Once completed, Ilot 13 will be the fourth project by KAAN Architecten built in France including recently inaugurated Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay. In addition, the monolithic Cité de Métiers et de l’Artisanat in Lille will open its doors to the public at the beginning of 2019.

Photographs by Sebastian van Damme.

30/11 2018

De Meester 2018 jury report announced

A month ago, the jury led by Dikkie Scipio crowned the De Meester 2018 award winner Bram van Ooijen and his project project ‘Wihdatopia’. Following the ceremony, a full report was issued elaborating the judging process, the nominated projects and the ultimate winner.

The De Meester jury was comprised of the journalist and author Tracy Metz, architect Bjarne Mastenbroek, urban planner Karen van Vliet, and Rotterdam Festivals director Johan Moerman, led by KAAN Architecten founding partner Dikkie Scipio. During the event, all three candidates presented their projects followed by a panel discussion with the judges.  However, it was Bram’s study of the refugee crisis as an urban problem of the 21st century that left a lasting impression on the jury and led him to the De Meester title.

Through his project, Bram questioned the role of the urban planner in a complex situation set in a Palestinian refugee settlement where there is no control by a form of central authority. Based on this, he formulated a strategy to develop the refugee camp from the state of exception into an inclusive urban district. The jury praised his impressive analysis and proposals which would serve as catalysts for future architectural and urban development of the area. Nevertheless, the prize also comes as a further assignment for Bram to clarify how city makers can contribute to this issue within their discipline.

Follow the link to explore the complete project and read the full jury report.



28/11 2018

A day on the university campus in CUBE

This September, CUBE Education and Self Study Centre opened its doors for the start of the new academic year at Tilburg University. Months later, the building is in full use by over 2200 students and faculty daily. Featured photo report captures the atmosphere and activities over the course of a typical school day in CUBE.

Nestled unassumingly among the trees, the building is anchored into the landscape by the paved orthogonal pathways that guide users to the entrances. Once inside, the ground floor unfolds as a progression of public spaces – open study areas, lounges, circulatory spaces and a restaurant. They stretch inside and out, allowing users of the study plaza the freedom to study or take a break within the same space. Abundant daylight and sweeping sight lines through the building allow the structure and surroundings to flow seamlessly into each other.

Photo reportage by Sebastian van Damme. See the atmosphere from the opening of the academic year in CUBE here.

22/11 2018

Crematorium Siesegem book is published

To mark the release of the new Crematorium Siesegem project, KAAN Architecten has published a book showcasing the design.

Nestled in the landscape, the crematorium building is a comforting sequence of spaces in symbiotic relationship with its tranquil surroundings. It is an ode to verticality, while being horizontal and pure in its geometry and balanced proportions. Its calm, easily readable environment and tranquil landscape merge together to emanate genuine serenity.

Explore the Crematorium Siesegem showcased through the photographs of Simone Bossi and Sebastian van Dame here.



05/11 2018

Two projects by KAAN Architecten nominated for EU Mies Award 2019

Utopia – Library and Academy for Performing Arts in Belgium and Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay in France have been nominated for 2019 edition of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award just months after their official release earlier this year.

Both buildings represent landmarks in their respective communities – Utopia as long-awaited cultural hub of Aalst, Belgium and ISMO as a flagship of the new urban campus in France. Complex programmes merging multiple functions and careful contextual design are other common aspects of the nominated projects.

Utopia Library and Academy for Performing Arts incorporates a striking historic building from the second half of the 19th century and rejuvenates the urban landscape while elegantly giving expression to the required functionality. The project was carried out through close collaboration between KAAN Architecten as designer and Van Roey as main contractor. Meanwhile, Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay, designed in collaboration with local architects FRES Architectes as a part of the future Paris-Saclay campus, is dedicated to higher education, research and innovation.

Other KAAN Architecten projects nominated in the previous editions of the EU Mies Award include Education Centre Erasmus MC and the Supreme Court of The Netherlands. Organised by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe with support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, the Award is dedicated to recognizing and commending excellence in European architecture. The Jury will announce the 40 shortlisted works at the beginning of 2019, while the 5 Finalist works will be known in February.

Photographs courtesy of Fernando Guerra FG+SG, Delfino Sisto Legnani e Marco Cappelletti.

31/10 2018

B30 featured in the Grote Nederlandse Kunstkalender 2019

Every year the Grote Nederlandse Kunstkalender provides a cross section of the current art scene, and the newest issue will feature the work by KAAN Architecten. This year’s edition will be presented during a launch party on Friday, 2 November at Het Industriegebouw. 

Marked under the date 13 June 2019 of the new calendar is B30 – a historical building in Bezuidenhoutseweg 30 in The Hague, now transformed into a contemporary and state-of-the-art working environment. The original building acts a vital and sustainable component of the total design brought to life by use of rich materials and clear layouts. 

As such, the renovation process relied heavily on the expertise of the craftsmen who supplied their skills during the construction. In their honor, under the photograph by Karin Borghouts, the calendar also features a short ‘Ode to the Craft’ by KAAN Architecten founding partner Dikkie Scipio:

Ode to the Craft

This is an ode to the craftsmanship of
the carpenters, the painters, the plasterers and the tilers,
of the natural stone workers, the bricklayers and concrete makers,
from road workers, metalworkers, parquet layers and glass-workers,
from the mosaic layers, the furniture makers, upholsterers and carpet weavers.
This is an ode to the creators without whom we were left empty-handed.
This is an ode to the craft.

-Dikkie Scipio

Find more information on the calendar here.

26/10 2018

Construction starts on Zalmhaven in Rotterdam

On 25 October, 2018 construction started on De Zalmhaven residential complex on a site adjacent to the former eponymous port in the center of Rotterdam.

De Zalmhaven is developed by AM & Amvest and consists of approximately 450 high-quality apartments located inside two mid-rise towers (by KAAN Architecten) and a skyscraper (by Dam & Partners). The project is expected to be completed by 2021.

Combining both urban and local scales, the new complex feels stately and formal yet also extremely transparent. The two mid-rise towers designed by KAAN Architecten are each 70 metres tall, sprouting from a solid plinth with clearly marked entrances. The footprint of each tower is a split and shifted square, creating more corners and an interesting range of apartments in differing sizes, all with corner windows offering astounding views. The plinth includes family houses with rooftop gardens and has a direct relationship with the surroundings at ground level.

Explore the full design here.


22/10 2018

KAAN Architecten to design Margraten Visitor Center

KAAN Architecten was appointed by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) to design the Visitor Center at Netherlands American Cemetery (NEAC) in Margraten after a competitive contracting process.

The new visitor center will be a product of an integrated design process dedicated to creating an effective and efficient facility with the attention to the landscape. KAAN Architecten will take the lead on the design and collaborate with the landscape architecture firm Karres+Brands. Furthermore, the design process will be supported by DGMRPieters BouwtechniekHP Engineers and B3 Bouwadviseurs.

The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. Situated in the Limburg region, close to Maastricht and the Belgian border, it represents a significant site within the Dutch territory. The cemetery honors and protects the burials of 8,301 American military dead with another 1,722 names inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing, and provides an opportunity for families of the soldiers, local inhabitants and others affected by the war to commemorate those buried in the cemetery, and to learn about the dynamics leading to the liberation of Europe. For this reason, ABMC plans to enhance the understanding of the NEAC by constructing a visitor center with interpretative exhibits at the cemetery which will complement the site in both style and dignity.

16/10 2018

Meet the nominees of De Meester!

Organized by the Fleur Groenendijk Foundation in collaboration with Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design and under the guidance of Dikkie Scipio, the De Meester award serves to highlight and promote work of young architecture graduates in the Netherlands.

In less than two weeks, this years nominees will present their projects in front of the jury in order to win the title of De Meester. Led by chairman Dikkie Scipio, the jury is comprised of the journalist and author Tracy Metz, architect Bjarne Mastenbroek, urban planner Karen van Vliet, and Rotterdam Festivals director Johan Moerman. All nominated projects address topical issues of urban life while questioning the disciplines of architecture and urban planning.

The graduation project of Nina van Osta focuses on elderly people with physical or mental disabilities which are often marginalized by the community and forced to live in less than adequate conditions. The project offers an alternative in the form of a pleasant and safe living environment where the elderly can lead their lives as independently and actively as possible and where care facilities, activities and social relations are within reach.

On the other hand, nominee Jurian Voets forms an alternative to the ‘Living Vision 2030’, in which the municipality of Rotterdam actively encourages gentrification without showing a vision of suitable urban housing for existing and future residents. This alternative is the ‘intense city’, the city where living together and meeting are central, where high density and diversity of people lead to more variety, a rich level of amenities and a healthy local economy.

Finally, nominee Bram van Ooijen responds to the refugee crisis as an urban problem of the twenty first century. Based on this, Bram formulates a strategy on the basis of which the refugee camp can develop from the state of exception into an inclusive urban district. The project investigates the possible future for a Palestinian refugee settlement, which in 2017 was still dependent on international aid.

Interested to know more? Join the De Meester 2018 event and award ceremony on 31 October 2018, at Garage Rotterdam, for an evening of dynamic discussions and new ideas. Register to attend the event here.

09/10 2018

Opening of the Crematorium Siesegem

A grand opening was held on 6 September, 2018 at the recently completed crematorium in Aalst, Belgium.

Just three months after completing the Utopia Library and Academy for performing arts in Aalst, KAAN Architecten added another landmark to their Belgian opus right at the edge of the same city. Recently finished Crematorium Siesegem was opened in a lavish ceremony with several hundred visitors.

Former Westlede director Kris Coenegrachts and the mayor of Aalst, Christoph D’Haese gave inaugural speeches, while KAAN Architecten founding partner Vincent Panhuysen presented the design.

Visitors participated in a guided tour, where they explored the building and the landscape, as well as learned about the cremation process and ceremony. See the atmosphere from the opening event in a photo reportage by Sebastian van Damme.

Full release of the project is set for November. In the meantime, find out more about the design here.


08/10 2018

A crematorium in a park

Recently opened Crematorium Siesegem by KAAN Architecten is set in a vast cultivated landscape outside Aalst, Belgium designed by Erik Dhont.

In order to disengage from the surrounding commercial estates, the site was transformed with physical and visual barriers. Trees and shrubs line the perimeter while the crematorium is situated in the middle, with a footprint of 74 by 74 meters. The surrounding greenery is envisioned as an extension of the crematorium space and is an important part of the funeral ceremony.

Upon arrival, undulating hills emerge from the ground among the parking areas, while a dynamic landscape spreads to the east articulated by natural flora development on the sloping topography. The hills for scattering the ashes and the urn garden rise along the northern facade, bringing the landscape into the ceremonial proceedings. This cohesive relationship between the building and the nature is essential, and will only become stronger when the final form of the new landscape expresses its full potential after a few seasons.

The goal was to design a building capable of internalizing the landscape so that its tranquility could console visitors and provide strength. This is also why interior spaces are strategically oriented within the landscape to create enclosed patios blurring the distinction between interior and exterior.

Full release of the project is set for November. In the meantime, find out more about the design here. Photographs courtesy of Jean Pierre Gabriel.

28/09 2018

New Schiphol Terminal wins the 2018 International Architecture Award

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal has been awarded the International Architecture Award for the ‘Transportation’ category. 

The award was announced just in time to mark a year since KAAN Architecten, Estudio Lamela, ABT bv, Ineco, DGMR, Arnout Meijer Studio and Planeground Airport Consulting, operating as KL AIR, won commission to design Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal. Today, September 28, 2018, a special exhibition of all awarded buildings will open at the annual symposium, “The City and the World” at The Contemporary Space in Athens.

The International Architectural Awards are organized by The Chicago Athenaeum, together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and serve to honor new and cutting-edge design worldwide. Find out more about the awards here.

27/09 2018

Supreme Court at Marmomac Fair

Participating in the world’s biggest fair dedicated to natural stone, KAAN Architecten will present the Supreme Court project in The Hague.

Yesterday marked the start of Marmomac International Trade Fair for Stone Design and Technology which will continue over the next four days in Verona. Dedicated to the natural stone industry, the fair represents the entire supply chain from processing to application in architectural design. During today’s events, KAAN Architecten project leader Marco Lanna will give a lecture on the Supreme Court project in The Hague, which features pronounced use of light grey limestone within its interior.

Photographs © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG.



26/09 2018

KAAN Architecten nominated for Dutch Architect of the Year

Throughout the five years since founding the office, KAAN Architecten continues to produce exemplary projects, earning them the nomination for the Dutch Architect of the Year award.

Dedicated to recognizing the importance of well rounded architectural agency, Architect of the Year award is organized by the Dutch architecture platform Architectenweb. The jury is composed of  architects Koen van Velsen and Uri Gilad, developer Martijn Dirks and architecture critic Kirsten Hannema.

KAAN Architecten founding partners Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen and Dikkie Scipio are nominated as a collective, with the jury citing great craftsmanship demonstrated by recently completed Utopia library in Belgium, university buildings in Brazil as well as exciting future projects for the new Schiphol Terminal and the Amsterdam Courthouse. Read a detailed jury explanation here.

10/09 2018

Opening of Academic Year at Tilburg University

On Monday, September 3, Tilburg Universiry celebrated the opening of the academic year, which took place in the new education and independent study center on the campus, CUBE.

The ceremony included speeches by Professor Emile Aarts, Rector Magnificus, Ingrid van Engelshoven, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture, and Science, Professor Koen Becking, President of the Executive Board, and a group of students.

The CUBE is now officially open for the upcoming school year, with its 11,000 square meters floor area intended to better facilitate university students and raise the level of education on offer. Its position strengthens the landscape structure towards the northwest side and fully integrates the pre-existing campus configuration. 

Find more information about Tilburg University academic year opening ceremony here.


05/09 2018

Crematorium Aalst to hold grand opening

KAAN Architecten is set to unveil the recently finished crematorium in an opening ceremony tomorrow in Belgium.

The official opening of Crematorium Aalst will take place on Thursday 6 September at 17.00. The ceremony will include a welcome speech by Westlede director Kris Coenegrachts, the mayor of Aalst Christoph D’Haese, and a presentation by KAAN Architecten founding partner Vincent Panhuysen. A guided tour will take the visitors through the building, displaying the easily-read spaces and the cohesive relationship with landscape in which it is set.

The crematorium was built in the marshy pastures just outside of Aalst, Belgium. The serenity desired of such an institution has been carefully translated into a design that puts emphasis on natural light, varying textures and neutrality which can allow guests to find their own comfortable spaces. The goal was to design a building capable of internalizing the landscape so that its tranquility could console visitors and provide strength. Key to achieving this were its linearity, rhythmic layout of alternating patios, open courtyards, glass walls and – in the chapels – column-free spaces. Through the use of renewable and low carbon impact materials and the state-of-the-art heat recovery systems, zero-energy consumption is achieved, making sustainability an additional pillar of strength for the design.

Full release of the project is set for November. In the meantime, find out more about the design here. Photographs courtesy of Simone Bossi.

27/08 2018

CUBE teaser video released

In anticipation of the project release, KAAN Architecten presents a teaser video for CUBE in Tilburg.

The new addition to Tilburg University campus designed by KAAN Architecten, aptly named CUBE, will serve as the Education and Self-study Center (OZC). Comprising a floor area of 11,000 sqm, the OZC will support all faculties within the university, new building spaces forging connections among them. The teaser video offers a glimpse of the building just before it will open to host 2500 students and educators.

CUBE – OZC Tilburg from KAAN Architecten on Vimeo.

Video © Sebastian van Damme / KAAN Architecten


13/08 2018

UTOPIA featured in worldwide press

Almost two months have passed since UTOPIA Library and Academy for Performing Arts in Aalst has opened for public. In that period, the project as well as the grand opening weekend have been widely covered by local and international media, both in print and online.

Anna Winston of Dezeen has interviewed Vincent Panhuysen, one of KAAN Architecten founding partners, about the making of UTOPIA and the process behind the design. Read the full article here.

Other media platforms like Yatzer, Wallpaper and Archinect have all featured the UTOPIA project, praising its masterful integration with the old school building. The project has also received worldwide recognition with ArchDaily publishing it across its multiple international platforms in China, Brazil and wider South America. The most intensive coverage has been by the local Belgian press, which has written multiple newspaper articles about the library and academy, focusing on its importance on civic life of Aalst.

Below is a short overview of the extensive press coverage.

United Kingdom:  Wallpaper Dezeen

USA Archinect  ContractDesign  aWorkstation

Italy  Designboom URDesignmag Divisare ArketipoMagazine ProfessionArchitetto Floornature MaterialiCasa

Russia TheArchtect ADMagazine

Ireland Architecture-design

France Architecture d’aujourd’hui

Spain DXI Magazine Revistaad TCCuadernos

China Gooood Popbee

Netherlands Architectenweb deArchitect stedebouwarchitectuur NOBB

Germany Baunetz  DEAR Magazin

Poland PointofDesign

Argentina NoticiasArquitectura

Thailand Handhome ThepamDesign

Greece Yatzer Elculture

Turkey Arkitera

Brazil Archdaily

Switzerland World-Architects

23/07 2018

UTOPIA in Aalst now open for public

After almost two years of construction, Utopia Library and Academy for Performing Arts in Aalst has finally opened its doors to the public on Thursday, 21 June 2018.

More than 25 000 visitors gathered for the opening festivities spanning over 4 days (21-24 June) where they participated in concerts, workshops and dance performances. Official presentations took place on Friday, 22 June, with speeches from representatives of the Aalst city council, Utopia board of directors, KAAN Architecten and Aalst mayor.

Following a competition in 2015, the Aalst city council chose to establish a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) based on a Design & Build contract. The project was assigned to a team consisting of Van Roey as main contractor and KAAN Architecten as architect, working in close collaboration throughout the whole project development and construction.

This new cultural landmark for the city incorporates a striking historic building from the second half of the 19th century and rejuvenates the urban landscape while elegantly giving expression to the required functionality. The desire of KAAN Architecten to interact with the urban fabric has been achieved: Utopia is already a reference point in Aalst city center, with citizens eager to enjoy and welcome a new landmark in their everyday lives.





28/06 2018

KAAN Architecten designs a new multifunctional centre at National Field of Honour in Loenen

The Netherlands War Graves Foundation commissioned KAAN Architecten to design a new multifunctional memorial and education centre at the National Field of Honour in Loenen, after a public tender. The main focus of the centre is to tell stories about Dutch war victims, the efforts of Dutch people during World War II and current international peace missions. The building is a layered and connecting element between the new National Veterans Cemetery and the existing Field of Honour.

The rich woods, existing routes and the scenic qualities of this exceptional site have been used to underline the unifying role of the building. The landscape, originally designed in 1949 by garden and landscape architect D. Haspels and extended by karres+brands, is characterised by the contrast between open spaces and the dense forest.
The design of the new centre consists of fluent open spaces, bound by a horizontally extended roof. This comprehensive openness blurs the transition between inside and outside and allows the natural elements to visually penetrate into the interior spaces. The flexible and logical organisation of the rooms and the roofed outdoor spaces gives the building a double function, while a multimedia educational installation informs students, families and visitors about the stories of war victims and veterans.

The three main rooms, the auditorium, the exhibition space and the condolence room, form a harmonious ‘sequence’ that can be combined for a single ceremony or can be used independently by different groups at the same time. These three key rooms each have their own identity, but at the same time form an architectural ensemble.

When entering the pavilion, the visitors experience the specific orientation of the building, which is positioned towards one of the sightlines of the Field of Honour with a central axis. In this way, the ceremonial route culminates with a view on the memorial cross seen from the auditorium of the pavilion. With this strong visual relationship, the pavilion occupies a central position between the two cemeteries, creating a timeless link between old and new.

14/06 2018

Universidade Anhembi Morumbi: two campuses, one architectural identity

A year after the official launch of KAAN Architecten’s second outpost in São Paulo (Brazil), the Dutch firm completes two new buildings, which will house the new campuses of the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in São José dos Campos and Piracicaba, in the inland of São Paulo State. The projects were coordinated by BRC Group.

Both buildings have been driven by the same design choices: to create an elegant yet strong architectural identity for the campuses of the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi through a non-scale approach to the representative façades, providing the students and the institution with a generous central common space that promotes social interaction and responds to the hot Brazilian climate of these regions by allowing greater circulation of natural air.

Located in proximity to a main road junction, the future campus in São José dos Campos stands like a modern day Acropolis on an elevated plot, which creates isolation and the ideal conditions to turn it into a new reference point amid the dense urban fabric. In Piracicaba, the new building occupies a plot along a secondary urban expansion axis in the southern part of the city.

By optimizing the topographical characteristics of their areas and thanks to the balanced façade geometries, both projects are landmarks that firmly and visually open themselves to the city, giving the University a recognizable position within the architectural panorama.

The buildings have different volumetric proportions. São José dos Campos encompasses a more compact structure and consists of three floors with a total area of 5.300 sqm, while Piracicaba, is horizontally developed and lies on the slope of the surrounding landscape, directly dialoguing with it.

The intense Brazilian solar radiation is mitigated by a fully encompassing system of vertical slabs that fulfills the need for shade in every façade. Choosing a regular structural system enabled KAAN Architecten to feature glass in between the thin concrete slabs and the roof beams. In the case of São José dos Campos, this was molded in-situ, relying on the expertise of the local workforce, while in Piracicaba, it was prefabricated to enhance sharpness and exactitude in the attachment system.

The wide use of glass in the façades enhances transparency and reveals a deep connection with the architecture of the cities. Moreover, a caramel resin floor comfortably reflects the abundant natural light in the social core and passageways of the buildings. The natural ventilation and light are optimized via a ceiling pergola in concrete and smaller wooden elements acting as sun blades.

The shared program features classrooms, diverse laboratories for practice exercises and simulation, a space for the cafeteria, physiotherapy facilities, a library and offices. All educational spaces are situated alongside the longitudinal glazed façades to take advantage of the natural light and have been oriented towards the large-scale central void, to embody the buildings’ core social identity and its essence as a place for encounters, human connection and knowledge exchange.

Following a careful analysis of the structural opportunities, a system of ribbed slabs made possible by in-situ molded concrete was adopted in the São José dos Campos building. In Piracicaba instead a system of alveolar slabs was employed, exploring the best possibilities of precast concrete. These choices allow wide free spans and a significant modularity of space based on a rigid 1.50 x 1.50 meter grid. Moreover, the in-depth study into solar radiation results in large floor-to-ceiling windows, which grant abundant daylight to classrooms and laboratories, playing with the deep shadows generated by the vertical concrete elements.

Sustainability plays a central role in the design of the two campuses, which feature an innovative energy management system for thermal control to prevent refrigeration waste and enhance the efficiency of the roof system with chimney effect. The use of BIM software and technology is also at the core of both projects: each façade has been designed following specific comfort studies, resulting in a wide protection porch for the north and south elevations, and in a dense grid of vertical brise-soleil for the east and west elevations.

26/04 2018

A step forward in Antwerp

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp now has a new spiral staircase connecting the foyer and the underground facilities area. The renovation work continues in the rooms of the new vertical museum, designed by KAAN Architecten, integrating historic masonry, elegant restored stuccos and contemporary steel structures.

© Karin Borghouts for KMSKA

21/03 2018

Utopia is nearly completed

Utopia, the Library & Academy for Performing Arts in Aalst (Belgium) is close to completion. The new building blends perfectly into the historic centre of the Flemish city and is in direct dialogue with the architectural grandeur of the neighbouring Pupillenschool. Within the entrance area, concrete and red bricks give life to the new covered plaza, a new public space for the city and its citizens. Utopia will officially open its doors in June 21st, 2018.

images @ Sebastian van Damme

07/03 2018

A book about B30

KAAN Architecten has published a book about B30, the elegant renovation of an historical building in The Hague, now housing five unique users: the independent planning bureaus (CPB, SCP, PBL), the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA).

In line with the needs of a contemporary working environment, the closed hierarchical building has been transformed into an open and inviting one, through a clear spatial configuration and additive design. B30 is now a space for contemporary ideas and research regarding government transparency, and this use is reflected in the new design.

You can have a look to the publication here.

22/02 2018

A glimpse of the new vertical museum

In Antwerp, the renovation and extension works of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts move forward. The roof of the new vertical museum has emerged, while some elements still lay on the top floor waiting to be placed on key points of the complex structure. Moreover, after one year of meticulous restoration, the stuccos of the Van Dyckzaal are now brought back to life and repositioned in their alcoves. It is the same for the elegant sage green tint, which is brought back to decorate the foyer area once again.


Images by photographer Karin Borghouts.

01/02 2018

CMA emerges in Lille

In Lille, framed by mature trees, the Cité de Métiers et de L’Artisanat emerges as a natural element characterized by mimetic glass facades and transparency. The reportage by photographer Sebastian van Damme reveals the strong character of the monolithic building on its way to completion.


18/12 2017

KAAN Architecten designs facades for three new buildings for iCampus in Munich

KAAN Architecten has won the competition launched by R&S Realty II, to design the facades of three new office buildings for iCampus www.icampus-muenchen.de in the Werksviertel district of Munich. Works will start in 2020 and be completed by the end of 2022.

Located in a former industrial and commercial area behind the Ostbahnhof train station, the new development strives to blend existing industrial and office buildings with a new contemporary layer, dedicated to the creative industry. The Alpha, Beta, Gamma buildings, whose structure and floorplans have been designed by RKW Architektur +, will not merely rely on standard and strict German office rules to define their architecture, but will also express transparency and encompass lofty spaces that clearly represent the creative industry of the 21st century. The facade design by KAAN Architecten will underline and support the identity of the buildings to consolidate and unite the Werksviertel aesthetic, while at the same time being iconic within its own right.

Composed of a rational deep façade and utilitarian elements, the prominent concrete frame features large openings, and represents the structure of the buildings. It is designed to adapt to various typologies of office spaces of the future. Black metal cladding and window frames wrap the entrances, stairways, sunscreens and technical spaces in a single, seamless skin. To supercede standard office aesthetics and create a feeling of openness, the division of larger elements into smaller components and the number of vertical profiles have been limited.

Moreover, the roof is treated as the fifth facade, going beyond its function as a mechanical and technical space, to become a living, breathing part of the buildings. The atrium roofs incorporate distinct glass openings, designed in a triangular shape to maximize resourceful use of glass and thereby prevent overheating.

The atriums of the Alpha, Beta, Gamma buildings extend towards the entrance to create a spatial relationship between the interiors of the building and the external public space, and to provide adequate daylight to the offices. Here, cafés and shared spaces will embody the open and contemporary character of the project.

From 2020, the Alpha building will be the first to implement the facade design by KAAN Architecten, followed by the Beta and Gamma buildings. Completion is slated for the end of 2022.



Location: Friedenstraße, Werksviertel, Munich (Germany)

Client: R&S Realty II, Munich

Management: RKS Ingenieurgesellschaft für Projektmanagement mbH, Munich Subsidiary

Programme: facades and roof design of office buildings

Architect: KAAN Architecten (Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio)

Design team: Jana Culek, Di Fang, Paolo Faleschini, Michael Geensen, Moritz Kuehl, Hannes Ochmann, Aldo Trim, Claudia Vermeulen, Yang Zhang

Design: 2017

Start construction: 2020

Delivery: 2022

GFA: 13.900 sqm (Alpha building), 10.900 sqm (Beta building), 13.900 sqm (Gamma building)

Main building architect: RKW Architektur +, Düsseldorf

Façade advisor: KD Fassadenplanung, Düsseldorf

Visualization: Beauty & The Bit, Madrid

14/12 2017

OZC: a construction site reportage

The Education and Self-Study Center of the University of Tilburg (The Netherlands) is under construction and the new building is scheduled for completion in May 2018.

The prominent concrete structure in balanced dialogue with the wide glass facades has been completed. It’s now time to give the final shape to the central and sunken auditorium, to the study spaces which will be filled with daylight and to the green core of the OZC building. The reportage has been carried out by photographer Sebastian van Damme.

02/11 2017

A look into aviation terminals of the future

Until November 17th, 2017 an exhibition of the new Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal’s design proposals is open at The Base in Schiphol (Evert van de Beekstraat). The show features a wide selection of models, images and boards from the five original submissions by KAAN Architecten in collaboration with Estudio Lamela, Ineco, ABT, Studio Arnout Meijer, DGMR and Planeground; MVRDV; OMA; SOM; and UNStudio. The exhibition will be open every working day from 9.00 to 18.00.

To learn more about the project, have a look at our Work section.

photos © Sebastian van Damme

05/10 2017

Supreme Court awarded with Silver Medal

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has been awarded with the International Prize for Sustainable Architecture Fassa Bortolo 2017 Silver Medal.

The prize is promoted by Fassa Bortolo and the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara in order to widely promote and publicize environmentally sustainable architectural projects designed for human needs.

An excerpt from the jury report states: “The use of efficient technological and engineering solutions, the design of flexible spaces able to adapt to changing requirements of use over time, as well as the choice of materials characterised by high durability, all combine to allow the building to respond effectively to the performance requirements defined during the meta-design phase.”


12/09 2017

KAAN Architecten to design the new Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal with international consortium KL AIR

KL AIR, consisting of KAAN Architecten, Estudio Lamela, ABT and Ineco, with the support of Arnout Meijer Studio, DGMR and Planeground, has won the commission to design the new terminal at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The building will be located at Jan Dellaert Plein, south of Schiphol Plaza, the main airport meeting area and arrival point for passengers via Schiphol train station and the A4 highway. The new terminal is to be completed by 2023.

The spatial organization of the new 100,500 m2 terminal for approximately 14 million passengers per year, its design and the treatment of its façades, are based on the ability to link up with Schiphol Plaza, the train station and potential future expansions. This is achieved through architectural clarity, spatial openness, and details such as overhangs and black eaves.

Central to the design is the urban integration of the new terminal that will ensure an excellent connection with the rest of Schiphol. An overlapping area and a diversity of user flows distinguish the reception hall for departing passengers, and make a distinctive space for the baggage reclaim hall underneath the check-in floor. Furthermore, short and direct routes on the landside are urban integration elements that contribute to keeping Schiphol a “compact city”.

“The most inspiring architectural and planning DNA at Schiphol is that of De Weger and Duintjer’s 1967 Departures Hall, with interior design by Kho Liang Ie Associates, which is characterized by abundant daylight, simplicity of space and an impressive spatiality”, says the design team.

The large-scale terminal offers diverse spatial experiences to travellers within a light-infused environment, and the understated design allows the use of spaces to be self-evident, while not diminishing the overall functionality.

At the heart of the building, a raised Plateau creates a higher ceiling for the baggage hall and gives the check-in and security control area more privacy. Here passengers have a sweeping view over an entrance hall that is superbly crowned by a latticework of light, allowing travellers to take in the big Dutch sky. The columns in the façade and a few facility areas within the building will bear the load of the unique roof (spanning approximately 180 x 150 meters). Passengers will be able to oversee the space in a single glance and move freely within the space. Soaring panes of glass define the façades and provide a view into the vibrant activity of the airport as well as a view onto the wide open sky over the flat polder landscape. Materials such as wood flooring on the Plateau and lush greenery in the large light wells above the security control area communicate elements of sustainability inherent in the design.

Structural modularity and a repetitive rhythm in the façades and roof will serve the overall serenity and unity of the new terminal, while also providing excellent building blocks for any future extension. An integrity and timeless quality define this new link in the chain of Schiphol’s evolutionary development, and yet the design achieved is also distinctive and expressive.

The official release by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can be found here.

Image: © Filippo Bolognese

31/07 2017

KAAN Architecten in final stage for new Amsterdam Airport Schiphol terminal

KAAN Architecten in collaboration with Estudio Lamela, ABT, Ineco and with the support of Arnout Meijer Studio, DGMR and Planeground, are amongst the five competing teams for the new Amsterdam Schiphol’s terminal set for completion in 2023.

Schiphol’s ambitions for the new terminal are to set a new standard in the aviation world. The new terminal must embrace Schiphol’s DNA and evolve it into the future.

The winning design will be announced in September 2017.

For further information, please check Schiphol Airport website.

24/07 2017

A reportage of the New Amsterdam Courthouse’s construction site

Since last winter, photographer Dominique Panhuysen has been following the evolution of the New Amsterdam Courthouse construction site, undertaking a new photographic project similar to the one published for the official opening of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.

The construction site is in fact currently a demolition site, the old Amsterdam Courthouse is in the final stages of demolition, to prepare the area for the new building designed by KAAN Architecten. From September 2017, debris will give way to cranes and excavators in accordance with the start of construction.

Here is a sneak peek of Dominique’s images.

28/06 2017

KAAN Architecten opens São Paulo office and presents the design of São José dos Campos’ Faculty of Medicine

The firm expands its growing business by opening its second outpost in São Paulo (Brazil). The practice, founded by architects Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen and Dikkie Scipio in 2014 quintessentially reveals a natural connection with Brazilian modernist architecture and aesthetics, highlighted through the use of raw concrete, clean lines and functional forms.

Since 2015, KAAN Architecten has been working on various projects across Brazilian territory: City Hall Park, a broad urban redevelopment plan in São Bernardo do Campo, the refurbishment of the city hall tower, the Paço Building, and Ferrazópolis, a transit hub featuring housing and a commercial program.

A team of architects, urban planners and engineers led by Renata Gilio works in close collaboration with the Rotterdam office and is based on the ground floor of a Sixties building in the cultural and residential district of Higienópolis, west of São Paulo’s city center. The Brazilian branch is predominantly dedicated to urban planning, renovation projects and educational programs between the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

To mark the official launch of the new office and the start of construction, KAAN Architecten unveils the design for the new Faculty of Medicine of the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi (UAM) in São José dos Campos, a city in the greater metropolitan area of São Paulo State. Located in proximity to a main road junction of the city, the building stands on an elevated plot, which creates both isolation and ideal conditions to turn it into a new landmark in the dense urban fabric.

Optimizing the topographical characteristics of the area, the project stands firm and visually opens itself up to the city. The intense Brazilian solar radiation is mitigated by a fully encompassing system of vertical slabs that fulfills the need for shade in every façade. Choosing a regular structural system enabled KAAN Architecten to feature glass between the concrete slabs and roof beams. These are molded in loco, relying on the expertise of the local workforce, and eliminating the need for masonry.

The Faculty of Medicine in São José dos Campos is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.


Location: Deputado Benedito Matarazzo Avenue, 7.001 – São José dos Campos – SP (Brazil)

Architect: KAAN Architecten (Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio)

Project team: Marco (Peixe) D’Elia, Paolo Faleschini, Renata Gilio, Cristina Gonzalo Cuairán, Mariana Mariano, Ricardo Marmorato, Laís Oliveira Xavier

Client: Laureate International Universities, Universidade Anhembi Morumbi 

Design phase: September 2016 – March 2017

Construction phase: February 2017 – December 2017

Site area: 29.700 sqm

Total floor area: 5.300 sqm + 1.800 sqm (underground parking)

Building costs: R$ 15 million (realization)

Main Contractor: R & G Incorporadora Ltda, São José dos Campos

Structural and hydraulic engineering: Fortec Engenharia, São José dos Campos

Electrical and lighting engineering: Eletrotécnica Volt Ltda, São José dos Campos

Investor representative: BRC Group, São Paulo

Landscape design advisor: URB SP, São Paulo

27/06 2017

Dedalo Minosse International Prize awards Education Center Erasmus MC

The Education Center Erasmus MC has been awarded an honourable mention by the Dedalo Minosse International Prize. The prize promotes quality in architecture, focusing on the design and construction process and the figures that determine the success of the work: the architect and the client.

KAAN Architecten and Erasmus MC received the prize in Vicenza (Italy) on June 23rd. On the same day an exhibition featuring all the winners was opened in the Palazzo Chiericati, the exhibition will travel worldwide in the upcoming months.

07/06 2017

A time-lapse video of GUZ in Tübingen

The new Geosciences and Environmental Research Center of the University of Tübingen (Germany) is growing fast. Since March 2016 a webcam has been documenting the progress on-site.

The first year of construction was dedicated to the construction of the concrete structure; followed by the building’s roof featuring all the mechanical plant units. The glazing of the two meter deep galvanized steel “façade rings” has started and last week the surrounding site was filled with soil to match the ground level of the campus.

The building is expected to be completed by Summer 2018.

26/04 2017

KAAN Architecten unveils B30: a transformed historical building in The Hague housing five unique users

The B30 – Bezuidenhoutseweg 30 has been designed by KAAN Architecten as the entry of an international competition (Public Private Partnership – PPP) launched by the Central Government Real Estate Agency, won in 2014 by a consortium led by Facilicom with Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, Deerns, Pieters Bouwtechniek, RebelGroup, and KAAN Architecten. The building houses under the same roof five unique users: the independent planning bureaus (CPB, SCP, PBL), the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA).

Originally built in 1917, by the then chief government architect Daniel E.C. Knuttel, as a Ministry during a period of austerity and renovated in 1994 by professor Hans Ruijssenaars, B30 is an imposing structure with a strong, distinct architectural character and it is a Grade 1 listed building in the Netherlands.

B30 is located in The Hague city center, alongside the Haagse Bos green space. It stands on Bezuidenhoutseweg, an historical arterial route connecting the Royal Palace Huis ten Bosch and the Dutch Parliament, Het Binnenhof.

KAAN Architecten’s design with its clear layout and architecture transforms the enclosed, hierarchical building – with an atmosphere representative of people’s perception of the State in the early 1900s – into an open, transparent and inviting setting in line with a contemporary and state-of-the-art working environment.

Thanks to an acute analysis that has mapped the essential qualities of the original design to create an inspired framework, the historic building is seen not as a dead museum piece, but as a vital and sustainable component of the total design.

Anchored in its urban setting, broader landscape and historic environment, B30 features an accessible and transparent public ground-floor, including restaurant, café, library, meeting and seminar rooms. All passageways are aligned with each other, creating long sightlines through the building, enhancing contact with the street, woods and gardens, and simplifying orientation and way-finding.

3_B30_KAAN Architecten ©Karin Borghouts

At the core of the building, a large Atrium becomes the quiet heart of B30. Here, Dutch artist Rob Birza was called upon to design a new mosaic floor pattern, a garden abstraction giving life to an internal landscape that is visually connected with the city forest and the new side gardens.

Knuttel’s original design has been expanded on both sides: the Seminar Foyer features meeting rooms, seminar rooms, and a sunken auditorium running through the glazed space, while the Work Foyer is characterized by lounge and working areas, an espresso bar and a library. The Foyers’ partitions feature large pivoted glass doors encased by high-gloss aluminum frames opening onto the gardens.

11_B30_KAAN Architecten ©Karin Borghouts

Both Atrium and the Foyers have been covered by a series of daylight shafts that borrow from the ubiquitous original coffered ceilings and take as their design principle a square base topped with triangular glass. These elements have been positioned for an optimal dispersion of sunlight, while preventing overheating by solar radiation.

The monumental staircase grants access to the magnificent former Minister’s Room on the first floor, while the Atrium visually connects with the four upper floors, which accommodates the workspaces of the various institutions. A new level of offices is situated over the “nave” of the building, and flows into the roof, where the height has been reduced from 30 to 20 metres to bring good scale and proportions to the inner courtyard.

14_B30_KAAN Architecten ©Karin Borghouts

The façades of the new additions consist of a sandblasted concrete frames filled with stone and a colouring agent that matches the tones of the original building. Moreover, the change in hierarchical relations and the importance of the ground floor has been expressed in the façade by enlarging the windows: the openings have been taken down to the stone plinth of the building, moving the window sills down and lengthening the jambs.

B30 now gives space to contemporary ideas regarding government transparency, seen through the original design. A spatial expression of a shared vision that will inspire curiosity and invite research and debate.



Location: Bezuidenhoutseweg 30, The Hague (NL)

Architect: KAAN Architecten (Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio)

Project team: Tjerk de Boer, Timo Cardol, Kevin Claus, Sebastian van Damme, Paolo Faleschini, Raluca Firicel, Cristina Gonzalo Cuairán, Walter Hoogerwerf, Marlon Jonkers, Hedwig van der Linden, Loes Martens, Marija Mateljan, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Maurizio Papa, Ismael Planelles Naya, Christian Sluijmer, Koen van Tienen

Primary client: Central Government Real Estate Agency (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf)

Direct client: Facilicom Services Group BV

Design phase: August 2012 – April 2015

Construction phase: January 2015 – February 2017

Total floor area: 21.000 sqm

Building costs: 31.000.000 €

Contractor: Breijer Bouw & Installatie, Rotterdam

Construction advisor: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Delft

Restoration advisor: Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, The Hague

Technical installations advisor: Breijer Bouw & Installatie, Rotterdam

Construction W+E installations: Breijer Bouw & Installatie, Rotterdam; Deerns, Rijswijk

Building physics, fire control and acoustics: Deerns, Rijswijk

Financial advisor: RebelGroup, Rotterdam

Lighting design: Studio Rublek, Schiphol

Mosaic design artist: Rob Birza (1962, Geldrop, NL)

Terrazzo mosaic realisation: Van der Zande Terrazzo en Mozaiek (Eric van der Zande and Marco Maarschalkerweerd)

Monumental staircase and Minister’s Room lighting fixture: Jan Pauwels

Wooden furniture: 13 Speciaal, Rotterdam

Offices: Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (RLi), Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA)

Main materials

Indoor floors and elevations: Ramon Grey, Israel (limestone)

Outside floors: Cenia, Spain (limestone)

Parquet: American Oak (wood)

Doors, window frames and fixtures: highly polished anodized aluminum

07/03 2017

KAAN Architecten designs Museum Paleis Het Loo’s renovation and expansion

Following a tendering process, the jury unanimously selected the winning proposal by KAAN Architecten. The design, inspired by the layout and proportions of the Corps de Logis of Paleis Het Loo, incorporates all required facilities and spaces while expressing a grandeur fitting for one of the Netherlands’ most popular and visited museums.

Originally built in 1686 as royal hunting palace, Paleis Het Loo is located on the outskirts of Apeldoorn, in the heart of the country. KAAN Architecten’s project – inspired by changing needs and new ambitions – consists of renovation, renewal and an expansion of more than 5000 sqm of new spaces, such as the House of Orange, the Junior Palace and temporary exhibition hall.

Upon arrival to the palace, visitors will reach the Bassecour where the four grass parterres of the front courtyard will be replaced by four glass surfaces with the exact same measurements. A thin layer of water will flow over the glass – a nod to the fountains and waterworks of the historic gardens. The new glass surfaces will be the only façade of the underground expansion. The entrance pavilions will lead to the light-filled underground entrance area where the ticket and information office, museum shop, and other visitor facilities will be located.

2a_KAAN_Museum Paleis Het Loo_Bassecour view

The Grand Foyer will be the beating heart of the underground expansion. It will connect the entrance area to the Palace and provide access to the temporary exhibition area and the House of Orange. To the west of the Grand Foyer, there will be a space for temporary exhibitions with 5-metre high ceilings, consisting of two large and two medium-sized square rooms that are interconnected, while in the west wing, a museum will be developed especially for children: the Junior Palace.

11a_KAAN_Museum Paleis Het Loo_axon East wing Huis van Oranje

The past and present of the Dutch Royal Family will be intriguingly entwined and housed by the 1245 sqm of the House of Orange in the east wing. Furthermore, the interior layout of the Palace and its forty different royal rooms will be enhanced and given a more logical arrangement to allow visitors to experience different routes and feels.

The renovated and renewed Museum Paleis Het Loo will be completed by 2021.

13a_KAAN_Museum Paleis Het Loo_axon West wing


Location: Koninklijk Park 1, Apeldoorn (NL)

Client: Stichting Paleis Het Loo National Museum

Architect: KAAN Architecten (Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio)

Project team: Loes Martens, Paolo Faleschini, Niels de Hart, Joost Harteveld, Antony Laurijsen, Nicki van Loon, Marija Mateljan, Floris Sikkel, Niels Vernooij, Sebastian van Damme

Design: 2016-2017

Completion: 2021

GFA: more than 5.000 sqm

Construction advisor: Bartels Ingenieurs voor Bouw & Infra

Restoration advisor: Van Hoogevest Architecten

Installation / W&E advisor: Valstar Simonis, Apeldoorn

Building physics, fire control, acoustics advisor: DGMR Raadgevende Ingenieurs, Arnhem

Light design: Beers Nielsen

Visualisation: The Beauty & the Bit, KAAN Architecten

28/02 2017

Ground breaking in Nantes for Bottière Chênaie

On March 1st, 2017 the first stone laying ceremony of the new Bottière Chênaie district in the north-east part of the city will be held in Nantes (France).

image by A5 INFOGRAPHIE / Groupe GIBOIRE

Following an international competition held in 2013, KAAN Architecten designed a large urban development mixing residential, commercial and office buildings.

The project will be presented on Wednesday March 1st, 2017 starting at 16.00 during a press conference at the restaurant “2 Potes au Feu” in the presence of Pascal Chessé, President and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Chessé; Michel Giboire, Chairman of the Board of Groupe Giboire; Alain Robert, Deputy Mayor of Nantes in charge of urban planning, trade and major urban projects; and Kees Kaan, co-founder of KAAN Architecten.


02/01 2017

Supreme Court nominated for EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2017

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands in The Hague has been nominated for the biennial European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2017 along with other 355 projects.

Launched in 1987, this Prize is co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe. By highlighting excellent architectural works that have been constructed over the last two years, the Prize draws attention to the contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas and technologies, as well as the cultural importance of architecture in the construction of our cities.

In the next months, the Jury members will shortlist 40 projects and select 5 finalist worksThe process will culminate with the Award Ceremony on May 26th, 2017 at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, marking several days of Open Doors throughout Europe during which sites of the shortlisted works will be open for visit to the general public.

More updates on the award’s website.

15/12 2016

A closer look inside the KMSKA New Museum

The renovation and extension of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp (KMSKA) led by Dikkie Scipio is going on and architects, restoration experts, art historians are ​cooperating to complete the New Museum spaces before the official opening in 2019.

A photographic walk by Karin Borghouts through the former patios of the museum reveals the concealed layers of previous configurations and accommodates the new double height staircase structure, preserved thanks to wooden cases until the completion of the new roof.

Verticality is one of the main characteristics of the New Museum as well as the aim to connect the new exhibition areas while blending them into the historical heart of KMSKA.





Last summer the installation of the copper roof has started along with the restoration of the internal stucco decorations. New ceilings appeared in the rooms of the bel-etagé, showing the original height of the space. Multiple layers were discovered following the demolition of the most recent ceiling dated 1970s, including another ceiling from 1920s.

​The New Museum will feature a new ​roof composed by custom-made prefab modules, which have been designed to get the right amount and spread of daylight in the top floor exhibition hall.
25/11 2016

KAAN in design competition for Bruges’ Beurssite

KAAN Architecten is among the five teams running for the competition that aims to provide a modern accommodation for congresses and conventions as well as exhibitions and events in the city of Bruges (Belgium).

Last year the city committee decided to close the actual premises and to build a renewed and contemporary building in the same location, Bruges’ Beursplein. After an intense selection phase, five teams have been chosen to run with the “design & build” formula that sees each team composed by an architect, a developer and a contractor.

KAAN Architecten will closely work with PSR Brownfield Developers NV and Jan De Nul NV in the Forum Brugae team.

Other participants are: Besix Red NV (Atelier Kempe Thill + Architecten Groep III, Besix Red NV, NV Besix S.A.); Samenwerkingsverband  BRUGGRES (OMA + U-define, BCS Investissement NV, Willemen General Contractor NV); Beursgenootschap Souto de Moura – META – CFE (Souto de Moura + META architectuurbureau, D&E NV + CFE NV, CFE Bouw Vlaanderen NV) and BC&EC (BIG + Salens, CIT Blaton NV + Extensa Group NV, Van Laere NV).

Results will be released in July 2017.

22/11 2016

Roughness and elegance: KAAN Architecten’s new home in Rotterdam

KAAN Architecten has moved to a new office, marking a page-turn for the expanding architectural practice. The new location is in the heart of Rotterdam, situated along the Maas river, just a few meters from the iconic Erasmus bridge and the firm’s award-winning project Education Center at Erasmus Medical Center University. The project has transformed 1.400 sqm of the former premises of De Nederlandsche Bank into KAAN’s new open-space headquarters, which encompasses more than 80 workspaces.

KAAN’s new De Bank office is housed in the piano nobile of a quintessential historical building originally designed by Prof. Henri Timo Zwiers in 1950-1955, on the grounds of a former synagogue, which was destroyed during the WWII bombings. The brick façade on Boompjes Street stands out against the river skyline and is characterized by an entrance hall enriched by the mosaic of Dutch artist Louis van Roode, who decorated several public spaces in Rotterdam during the post-war period.


“The notion of sharing of knowledge is at the core of the division of spaces and the interior design of the new office. This rough space has the special gift of an industrial yet monumental aesthetic, a beauty that we decided to exalt through a solid balance between two simple materials wood and concrete.”

 Dikkie Scipio


The building’s striking character and its wide, bright spaces offered the perfect base for KAAN Architecten to design their new office. The beating heart of the project is an extensive working area dedicated to architects. This space is blessed by intense daylight on both sides and offers a unique view of the surrounding water-front. The rectangular floor plan, with its clear proportions, is designed to effectively connect working, meeting and leisure spaces through several long monumental corridors and passages, enhancing fluid interactions between employees, visitors and partners.


Spatial rhythm is generated by the finely restored industrial concrete structure. The rough essence of the material is balanced by a counterpoint of elegant dark walnut wood, which constitutes the main component of the interiors. The harmonious interaction between the warm comfort of the wood and the pre-existing concrete structure, envelopes the atmosphere in a graceful yet monumental feeling. KAAN Architecten has successfully designed a new working space that genuinely represents the philosophy of the office: functionalism with added value. Raw and refined at once, the project revitalizes and reveals the inherent beauty of a building that has, for many years been sleeping while its city dreams.


images © Simone Bossi

18/11 2016

Supreme Court wins ARC16 Architecture Award

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands in The Hague has been awarded with the annual ARC16 Architecture Award that aims to promote sustainability in the broadest sense of the word and as an integral part of the design.

The jury composed by Marlies Rohmer (Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer), Ninke Happel (Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven), Sereh Mandias (De Dépendance), Fransje Sprunken (VORM) and Harm Tilman (de Architect) chose as the winner the building that has yielded more than the client has requested and that convinces in toto.

The jury motivation about Supreme Court of the Netherlands’ choice: “A building that will be excellent in the next fifty years and that can become a classic. A building anchored in a sustainable way to the city and that has been carefully chiseled. A building giving a recognizable typological answer and that performs the program sublimely. A building that amazes, is unconventional and rises above its mere task”.

The ARC16 Architectuur Award is promoted by Gira and de Architect.

More info on the award website.


11/10 2016

Supreme Court awarded with Living Daylight Award 2016

The Daylight Award is a Dutch biennial prize for buildings that have a pronounced daylight quality. This year the Supreme Court of the Netherlands has been awarded thanks to its rich array of daylight aspects and to the smart strategies for artificial lighting.

The jury composed by Alexander Rosemann (TU Eindhoven), Jeroen van Schooten (Team V Architectuur),  Paul van Bergen (DGMR), Peter Lindeman (Rodeca Systems), Kees van der Hoeven (ArchitectenWerk), Sander Mirck (Mirck Architecture) made a choice based on specific criterias like experience, function, vision and building physics.

28/09 2016

Re-interpreting a national heritage site

The governmental building B30 in The Hague was first conceived by Daniël Knuttel in 1917, and will shortly become the new accommodation of the Dutch planning offices. 

The renovation and extension on the original design led by Dikkie Scipio is aiming to achieve an open yet monumental architecture thanks to new openings, gardens and an artistic intervention on the atrium’s floor. Karin Borghouts gives us an insight of the building currently in its delivery phase.






19/09 2016

The Education Center as seen by Fernando Guerra

Three years after the official opening, the Education Center, part of the Erasmus MC university in Rotterdam still maintains its incredible allure.

A new reading of the building offered by award-winner photographer Fernando Guerra highlights the balance between the original structure designed by Arie Hagoort in collaboration with Jean Prouvé and the new extension design. Protagonists are the light triangles of the roof projected in the central square, the lively spaces generated by the book wall library, and the articulated working spaces.








12/09 2016

CMA in Lille is taking shape

First official images from the construction site of the new Cité des Métiers et de l’Artisanat, which will open to the public in 2017, have been released.

The photographic reportage highlights the design and its relation with the vivid landscape which is achieved thanks to the prominent horizontal façades, the exceptional cantilever, the ability of blending with the vegetated background and the broad interiors.




photo © Sebastian van Damme

31/08 2016

A sneak peek of B30’s interiors

A few weeks ago photographer Sebastian van Damme visited the construction site of B30 in The Hague (nl) to capture the last moments before the completion of the renovation led by Dikkie Scipio.

The reportage shows a sneak peek of the interiors: the main atrium with the new roof carried out in accordance with the structural decorative coffers of the old building and the new workspaces of the upper floors.

Designed by Dutch artist Rob Birza, the atrium floor in mosaic recalls the outdoor gardens of the building. Big circles are the frames of the art piece that the artist will realize together with Van der Zande Terrazo & Mozaiek.

Sebastian van Damme_B30_bouw_20160818-32

Sebastian van Damme_B30_bouw_20160818-30

Sebastian van Damme_B30_bouw_20160818-12

06/07 2016

KAAN Architecten designs Library & Academy of Performing Arts in Aalst (be)

The city council of the Flemish city of Aalst has commissioned KAAN Architecten to design their new library, a largely new complex in the city centre which will also house the Academy for Performing Arts. The complex, situated on the corner of Oude Graanmarkt and Esplanadestraat, will be completed in 2018 – a full century after the end of World War I.

The city requested: “A library for Aalst that will become an open and accessible place, a home for information, knowledge, culture and leisure opportunities.” Other, no less important stipulations included that the design by KAAN would be an impetus for the fulfilment of a vibrant city centre and a place where all of the different communities within Aalst can meet each other.

The preliminary design, which won KAAN Architecten the commission, is a complex with lively, urban allure. Precisely because its plan is functionally driven, it achieves a sense of spatial freedom that enriches the experience of the building. The so-called Pupillenschool, with its grand presence and eventful history, is being used as a ‘cornerstone’ to anchor the new complex in the surrounding urban fabric and in the hearts of the people of Aalst.

KAAN Architecten_Pupillensite_interiors 2nd floor

The irregular street pattern of the historic centre of Aalst was a source of inspiration and forms the foundation for the new complex. At various points the streets converge erratically, leaving small open spaces – tiny public squares that dot the old city centre. By inserting a rectangular edifice loosely against the back and part of the side of the Pupillenschool, Aalst has gained two more of such small public squares: one serving as the entrance area for the complex and the other as terrace to the reading café.

The combination of a library and arts academy may not at first seem very logical. The performing arts involve movement and noise, while reading is a static and quiet activity. The blending of the two, however, is also infectious and gives greater impact to the idea of a meeting place. KAAN Architecten believes the combination sets them a challenge to design a building that lets each complement the other in an ideal way. Aalst dances, plays and reads – a motto that speaks to the imagination.

KAAN Architecten_Pupillensite_interiors 1st floor

The city has chosen to perform a public private partnership (PPP) for the municipal library by means of a Design & Build contract. This DB has been procured as one single entity to the private party of Groep Van Roey NV. Subsequently, Van Roey has configured a consortium for this very purpose of which KAAN Architecten is a member, next to ABT, Studiebureau R. Boydens NV, Util Structuurstudies and Dutch Light Pro.


project name: Library & Academy for Performing Arts Pupillensite

location: Graanmarkt 4, 9300 Aalst (be)

client: Autonoom Gemeentebedrijf Stadsontwikkeling Aalst (AGSA)

architect: KAAN Architecten

project team: Bas Barendse, Tjerk de Boer, Sebastiaan Buitenhuis, Sebastian van Damme, Raluca Firicel, Narine Gyulkhasyan, Joost Harteveld, Martina Margini, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Kevin Park

GFA: 8.500 sqm

design: 2016

main contractor: Groep Van Roey NV

advisor construction: UTIL Struktuurstudies

advisor installation: Studiebureau R. Boydens NV

advisor fire control and acoustics: ABT

advisor sustainability: Studiebureau R. Boydens NV

visualisation: EdiT, KAAN Architecten

20/06 2016

KAAN reveals new design for De Zalmhaven

See the latest design for De Zalmhaven – an ongoing project comprising 220 apartments built on a site adjacent to the onetime port of Zalmhaven, center of Rotterdam. Two shifted towers of 70m each sprout from a solid plinth, offering astounding views over the river and highlighting the access to the building.

cam 011 03

Combining both urban and local scales, the complex presents a more stately and formal façade overlooking the city in the North side, while meandering balconies characterize the South front, introducing a more private and intimate dimension.


A transparent grid façade relates to the traditional surroundings and binds the various elements of the block together in a unique and recognisable system. The towers include a wide range of apartments in different sizes, while the plinth comprises units with rooftop gardens or directly relating to the surroundings on the ground level.

Read more about De Zalmhaven on the project page as well as on the facebook page of the project.


31/05 2016

KAAN to design New Amsterdam Courthouse

With a staff of 1.000, including 200 judges and 800 professionals, as well as many daily visitors and the processing of 150.000 cases a year, the Courthouse of Amsterdam is the largest in the Netherlands. The new building will be located at the intersection of the Zuidas and Parnassusweg, where the present judicial complex will be demolished.

KAAN Architecten’s preliminary design is a stately, open structure which offers both employees and visitors views over the city, and passers-by the opportunity to engage with the building. Natural design consequences of this are the big windows at the ground floor as well as the entrance courtyard intended for public use. The city’s streets merge with the layout of the building. The forecourt, the central hall and its foyers, and the waiting areas for visitors are an extension of urban space.

Inside, just off the central hall, the building will have two independent structures with 50 courtrooms and council chambers, all provided with daylight. NACH_central-foyer

Gardens will also be protagonists of the New Amsterdam Courthouse. The central hall with escalator will border an enclosed garden, shielded by a glass wall. Vertical gardens will climb through the building among the offices. And in the western part, a sunken garden will supply daylight to the lower floor, while a large terrace will also provide 50 workstations with connections.

The new building is to be completed in 2020.


KAAN Architecten is undertaking works for the New Amsterdam Courthouse as part of a consortium which includes Macquarie Capital, ABT, DVP, construction companies Heijmans and M.J. de Nijs & Zonen, and Facilicom. A 30-year DBFMO contract, established upon commission by the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, forms the basis of this public-private partnership (PPP).

Images by KAAN Architecten, Beauty & The Bit.

18/05 2016

B30 completion on its way

B30, the new accommodation of the Dutch planning offices, is a renovation of a ministry building of the 20th Century in the city of The Hague. The entire ground floor is an extension of the public and collective spaces and includes a seminar room, partly positioned in the garden.

A reportage by photographer Sebastian van Damme is following all the steps of the renovation process, below the latest shots.





26/04 2016

KAAN Architecten designs new Tilburg University building

KAAN Architecten and VORM will be building a large new campus building at the University of Tilburg. With the Education and Self-Study Centre (OZC), comprising a floor area of 11,000 square meters, the university aims to provide better facilities for students and therefore further increase the quality of education. Works will be complete by the autumn of 2017.

The design of the OZC by KAAN Architecten has a square shape and is relatively low, like several other buildings on the campus. This ensures a good fit within the surroundings and among the trees. Yet it also differs significantly from the square central university building, the Cobbenhagen, formerly the Catholic Economics College that became the first university building in the early 1960s. Designed by architect Jos Bedaux (1910-1989), this closed edifice pulls the outlying landscape into the interior through two patios. The building by KAAN Architecten however, is nestled in the landscape. Ample daylight and quite marked openness with radical views through the structure make the building merge with its environment. The study spaces are enclosed in a green setting, as an opening in the woods.

The OZC will support all faculties within the university and so will be continuously busy with up to 2500 students and educators all connected to each other thanks to the new building spaces. In order to safeguard its openness and avoid feeling crowded, the building has been given extra berth. All the spaces, including the corridors, are wide, light and tall – up to six meters high. The plans include a large number of study coves and group areas of different dimensions, as well as various lecture rooms that will be equipped with all the necessary IT and communication tools. The auditorium has been given a central and sunken position so that the building retains transparent passages from one end to another.

In collaboration with KAAN Architecten and VORM, the consortium that obtained the contract also includes Pieters Bouwtechniek, J. van Toorenburg BV, Bosch Slabbers, Buro Bouwfysica, OPPS, ABT, A.de Jong Installatietechniek, Steegman Electrotechniek, De Groot & Visser BV, Oranjedak, GWS dé schoonmaker and Caspar de Haan Groep.

Construction will commence in the end of 2016.


project name: OZC (Education and Self-Study Center)

location: campus Tilburg University (The Netherlands)

client: Tilburg University

programme: auditorium, lecture rooms, tutorial rooms, meeting rooms, restaurant, exam rooms, lounge area

architect: KAAN Architecten (Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio)

design team: Alejandro Gonzáles Pérez, Martina Margini, Kevin Park, Maria Stamati, Yiannis Tsoskounoglou, Noëmi Vos, Yang Zhang

design: 2016

start construction: end of 2016

delivery: December 2017

GFA: 11.000 sqm

main contractor: VORM

project management: VORM

advisor water installations: A de Jong Installatietechniek

advisor electrical installations: Steegman Installatietechniek

advisor construction: Pieters Bouwtechniek

advisor technical installations: J van Toorenburg Installatieadviseur

advisor fire and acoustics: Buro Bouwfysica

sustainability: ABT

quality management: OPPS

landscape: Bosch Slabbers

visualization: Beauty & The Bit

15/04 2016

KAAN Architecten to design New Amsterdam Court House

KAAN Architecten is part of the New Amsterdam Court House (NACH) consortium that will be implementing the Amsterdam Court House Project. The Central Government Real Estate Agency (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf) has provisionally selected the consortium for this Public Private Partnership (PPP). Following contract award, KAAN Architecten will be given a share in the design of the court house. The value of the DBFMO project is € 235 million (including a 30-year management and maintenance contract). Final contract award is expected to occur on 10 May 2016.

Design, construct and operate 

A special purpose company will be created for the implementation of the project with Macquarie Capital as the sole shareholder. KAAN Architecten, together with a/o ABT, Heijmans and Facilicom, will form a combination that will design, construct and operate the court house. Demolition work for the construction of the new court house along the Zuidas in Amsterdam is expected to commence at the beginning of 2017. The court house is expected to be occupied in November 2020. The 30-year operating period will commence once the building has been occupied.

NACH Consortium
The NACH Consortium is initiated by Macquarie Capital, ABT, DVP, KAAN Architecten, BiUM, and Bouwbedrijf M.J. de Nijs & Zonen. Additionally, the consortium has been extended with Heijmans and Facilicom.

Read the official announcement

08/04 2016

KAAN awarded assignment “Renovation and Extension” of Museum Paleis Het Loo

Museum Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn has awarded the assignment of the Renovation and Extension to KAAN Architecten in Rotterdam. After a careful procedure, the architect selection committee, under the chairmanship of Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade, unanimously selected this plan. At the end of the year, the final design will be presented and there will then be clarity about the exact planning and costs.

Museum Director Michel van Maarseveen about this choice:
‘As museum, we are very pleased that KAAN Architects presented a draft design that fully matches our wishes and ambitions and respects the historic palace complex. The underground extension has considerable allure and is both hospitable and functional.’

Architect Dikkie Scipio:
‘We explicitly sought for a form with which we, without competing with the monument, could highlight the grandeur of museum Paleis Het Loo in a surprising way and extend it further. I am delighted that the selection committee has acknowledged this fact.’

Museum Paleis Het Loo will be ‘open at revised times’ during the Renovation and Extension. The renovation covers the replacement of technical installations, climate-control installations and the removal of asbestos. While this major repair is taking place, an underground extension to Paleis Het Loo will be created. This extension will provide more space for temporary exhibitions and the large-scale collection will be presented better. The facilities for the public will also be improved.

photo © Rob Voss

06/04 2016

KAAN Architecten signs the Supreme Court of the Netherlands

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has been designed by KAAN Architecten as the entry of an international Public Private Competition (Publiek Private Samenwerking – PPS) won in 2012 by Poort van Den Haag, the consortium made up of BAM PPP B.V., PGGM, BAM Bouw en Techniek B.V., ISS Nederland B.V. and KAAN Architecten.

The building, which measures 18.000 m2 and houses a staff of 350, is located in the elegantly historic city center of The Hague. It is situated along the Korte Voorhout, a royal route connecting several institutional buildings to the Parliament building, and adjacent to Malieveld park; in this location the new design, with the measured vibrancy of its facades, interacts with the trees across the street announcing the city gateway.

The main entrance is flagged by six bronze statues of legal scholars seated on pedestals, with a single pane of glass subtly marking the transition from the street to the interior. The transparency of the building signifies both accessibility to the public as well as the soundness and clarity of judgment.

The entrance hall (where the courtrooms and the press room are located) forms the public area; it has double height ceilings that span the full length of the building. The floors and walls are of a light grey limestone that exudes a velvety texture. The large and small courtrooms, which hold 400 and 80 visitors respectively, are distinguished by brown-veined translucent alabaster walls. In the middle of the entrance hall, in between the two courtrooms, hangs the artwork “Hoge Raad” by Dutch painter Helen Verhoeven. It was commissioned specially for the Supreme Court.

The upper floors accommodate offices, a library with study places, a restaurant, and council and meeting chambers. Daylight permeates the building through several skylights, forming the core of the distinct domains of the Council (Raad) and Procurator General Office (Parket). The two departments are identified by the use of different materials: a vertically striped Marmara Equator marble in the Council, and an organic Skyline marble in the Procurator General Office area. At the circumference of the openings each floor has pantries with coffee machines, seating, and bookcases. The light, the sightlines throughout the space, and the open perspective inspire social interaction, encourage the exchange of ideas and opinions, and allows for informal gatherings.

Three sides of the building are exposed to sun over the course of a day. These facades are climate controlled through the use of a spacious cavity in the glass casings: glass boxes that not only keep out the heat and cold, but also the sound of traffic outside. Nonetheless, the windows can be opened if desired, while the sun blinds and light filters can also be individually regulated. This controlled double protection produces a layered facade, flat and yet canted, a subtle nuance that adds even more elegance to the whole.


On Saturday April 23rd – 2016, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands will welcome visitors on the occasion of its first open day.


Location: Korte Voorhout 8, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Client: Rijksvastgoedbedrijf

Architect: KAAN Architecten (Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio)

Design team: Allard Assies, Luca Baialardo, Christophe Banderier, Bas Barendse, Dennis Bruijn, Timo Cardol, Sebastian van Damme, Marten Dashorst, Luuk Dietz, Willemijn van Donselaar, Paolo Faleschini, Raluca Firicel, Michael Geensen, Cristina Gonzalo Cuairán, Joost Harteveld, Walter Hoogerwerf, Michiel van der Horst, Marlon Jonkers, Jan Teunis ten Kate, Marco Lanna, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Ana Rivero Esteban, Joeri Spijkers, Koen van Tienen, Noëmi Vos

Design phase: December 2012 – January 2014

Construction phase: September 2013 – January 2016

Contractor: Consortium Poort van Den Haag: BAM PPP B.V., PGGM, BAM Bouw en Techniek B.V., ISS Nederland B.V. and KAAN Architecten

Structural engineering: Arup Nederland

Electrical engineering: BAM Bouw en Techniek

Mechanical engineering: Arup Nederland

Site supervision: KAAN Architecten, BAM Bouw en Techniek

Constructor mechanical + electrical installations: BAM Bouw en Techniek

Fire, comfort, acoustics, security: DGMR

Spatial acoustics: Level Acoustics

Building control: CBB

Parking advisor: Wim van Vlierden

Site area: 2.500 m2

Total floor area: 18.000 m2 (including underground parking)

Cost: 59.000.000 € (realisation)

Artwork: “Hoge Raad” (oil on canvas, 400 x 647 cm, 2015) by Helen Verhoeven

04/04 2016

Archeological findings in the garden of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts

First results of the archeological digs in the garden of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp (KMSKA) show the exact location and the state of preservation of the ancient citadel of Alva. 

Underneath the museum site, archeologists found the Fernando bastion, one of the five ones belonging to the old citadel, and the flank of the main wall made of bricks and stone is now lying bare. Archeological finds include the bastion’s gun emplacement, a discovery that enrich the understanding of Antwerp’s military past.

The excavation will be carried out along with the renovation works of the museum.

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts will open its doors in 2019.



photo © Karin Borghouts

29/01 2016

KAAN is running for Paleis Het Loo’s competition

KAAN Architecten is selected for the competition launched by Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn, the historical royal Dutch residence from XVII century, to improve and expand the visitors facilities.

Together with this expansion, the installation system will be updated and asbestos will be removed. The exteriors won’t face any change and the entrance will remain in the same position. According to the competition planning the renovation should start in 2018 and the new Paleis Het Loo be delivered by 2021.

KAAN Architecten is on the run with four other candidates: Architect Koen van Velsen; Next Architects + AL_A; Felix Claus Dick van Wageningen Architecten; and Neutelings Riedijk Architects.

Results are expected for mid-March 2016.

20/10 2015

B30: a building site reportage

The renovation process of the Bezuidenhoutsweg 30 building in The Hague has started and photographer Sebastian van Damme is following the construction site.

The building is a State monument located close by The Hague central station, the city park and the institutional area comprising ministries and governmental buildings.

From the XIX century onwards, the structure has undergone many changes, loosing its identity and not suiting the contemporary working standards anymore. The renovation project is a re-interpretation of the essence of the original design aiming to achieve an open and transparent architecture thanks to new roofs and ceilings, patios and an easy way-finding.

To read more about the project follow our KAAN work section and the B30 website.









02/09 2015

The vertical museum is taking shape

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp (KMSKA) official blog is following step by step the museum building site.

A short reportage by photographer Karin Borghouts has recently featured the installation process of the steel staircase, part of the museum of the 21st century. The new staircase will be integrated into one of the four patios, crucial elements of the vertical museum concept, allowing the full height view from the lower point of the museum site to the new light scooped roof.

At this link the gallery from the blog and up here an unreleased image of the new space.

05/03 2015

Archaeological remains of 16th century citadel under the Royal Museum of Fine Arts

During foundation works for the renovation and extension of the KMSKA, the archaeologists of the Flemish Government got the opportunity to dig trenches to research remnants of foundations of part of a citadel.

The citadel was a pentagonal fortification build in the 16th century as a Spanish means of repression against the rebellion of the Habsburgs Netherlands, in particular the city of Antwerp.

1830 marked another Belgian – Dutch historical event when the site was the last rampart of the Dutch before they were forced to leave by French armies, finalizing the inevitable Dutch – Belgian split.

The citadel was leveled to make the 19th century extension of Antwerp: Het Zuid. One of the central buildings of this extension was the KMSKA.

More information can be found in the museum blog.

kmska © Heritage_2 K566KMSKA-citadel-foto copyphoto credits: cover Jesse Willems, 2. Heritage archive, 3. Antwerpen Stadsarchief


23/02 2015

Third construction phase of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands

The highest point of the building has been reached, the new volume of the Supreme Court stands out from The Hague city fabric. 

The reportage of photographer Dominique Panhuysen is following the building process since its start in 2013. The third construction phase shooting focuses on the different glass façades: a full transparent ground floor for the most public part of the new building, flush openings for the courtrooms floor and aluminium slabs structure for the integrated cooling system of the upper floors façade.







10/02 2015

Education Center Erasmus MC is shortlisted for Mies van der Rohe Award 2015

KAAN Architecten’s project is shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.

40 projects have been shortlisted within the 420 nominees announced last December comprising projects completed in Europe in the last two years.

The jury composed by Cino Zucchi (Chair of the Jury), Margarita Jover, Lene Tranberg, Peter L. Wilson, Xiangning Li, Tony Chapman and Hansjörg Mölk will, by the end of February, decide the 5 project finalists and declare the winner during the exhibition opening and official ceremony in London next May 7-8th, 2015.

To read the full press release, follow the link to Mies van der Rohe Foundation website.

19/01 2015

ISMO presented during the opening of Paris-Saclay exhibition

The Institut des Sciences Moleculaire d’Orsay project has been officially presented last November 29th, 2014 during the opening weekend of the Paris-Saclay’s exhibition “Paris-Saclay. Le Futur en Chantier(s)”.

The three-days opening symposium invited all the Paris-Saclay’s new development designers to introduce the several projects for the academic area result of a competition held in 2011.

Marco Lanna (KAAN Architecten) gave a short Pecha Kucha presentation on how ISMO will become a transparent factory for science, research and communication activities. The building on the South-East side of the Paris-Saclay area will pay great attention to the surrounding landscape and natural environment presenting itself as a glass show-box in direct dialogue with the campus.

To learn more about the project, please follow this link to KAAN work, down here Marco Lanna’s Pecha Kucha speach.

04/12 2014

Education Center Erasmus MC nominated for European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015

KAAN Architecten project for the new Education Center of the Medical Center – Erasmus University in Rotterdam has been nominated for the biennial European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.

Launched in 1987, this Prize is co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe. By highlighting excellent architectural works that have been constructed over the last two years, the Prize draws attention to the contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas and technologies, as well as the cultural importance of architecture in the construction of our cities.

The winner and special mention projects will be released in the next months, the news will follow on the prize website.

13/10 2014

Second construction phase of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands

The building has seen a step out of the excavation site with the concrete structure of the public ground floor and the steel beams of the upper office level.

A full on-site reportage by Dutch photographer Dominique Panhuysen is following the developments since the beginning of the excavation process, and it will keep following in the next months all the different construction phases of the new building.





18/03 2014

KAAN Architecten and DOMAIN have developed a visual concept design for City Hall Park in São Paulo (Brazil)

City Hall Park of São Bernardo do Campo occupies a position of strategic significance in the metropolitan region of São Paulo. The planned intensification of mobility throughout the site inevitably renders its emergence as the new center for São Bernardo do Campo.

The design organizes the site into a series of archipelagos dedicated to leisure and performance, each island is reinforced with an icon dedicated to performance. The icons form a continuity of irregularity, each with unique spaces and functions, and varying in typology, density, and landscape.

Adjacent to the performative landscape is the existing neighborhood. Whereas islands and supporting icons provide difference and diversity, the existing neighborhood provides cohesion and unity. By reorganizing the adjacent streets vehicular traffic to one-way flow, and consolidating infrastructure and logistics to the center of the site, the existing roads are transformed into commercial boulevards. The site is no longer a residual geological junk space, but the physical and programmatic center of the neighborhood.

The masterplan consists of five programmatic anchors: creative industries, automotive industry, film, technology, and performance. The anchors are closely related through innovation and research, and provide the basis for strategic and economic cooperation for the metro region.

Project name: City Hall Park
Location: São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil
Program: 623,000sqm GFA (Performance Plaza – 33,000sqm; Museum Park – 20,000sqm; Creative Labs – 72,000sqm; City Center – 98,500sqm; Incubator City – 120,000sqm; Convention Center – 92,500sqm; Gateway Tower – 187,000sqm)
Site: 30 Hectares masterplan
Client: Municipality of São Bernardo do Campo
Project Team:
DOMAIN (Mitesh Dixit, Sven Jansse, Katerina Salonikidi, Yiannis Tsoskounoglou)
KAAN Architecten (Dante Borgo, Renata Gilio, Kees Kaan, Yinghao Lin, Maria Stamati)
Collaborators: Beauty & The Bit (visualization); Werkplaats Vincent De Rijk (model)

For more information, please contact KAAN press: press@kaanarchitecten.com

10/03 2014

KAAN Architecten wins Bezuidenhoutseweg 30 PPP contract

The Government Buildings Agency has selected the design of KAAN Architecten for the Facilicom Consortium PPS B30 as winner of the PPP contract for the Bezuidenhoutseweg 30 project in The Hague.

This National Heritage Site, built for the Department of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries in 1917 and subsequently occupied by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation until 2013, will soon be converted into the Dutch government’s premier new knowledge centre. In 2016, the renovated B30 building will serve as the joint premises for the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA) and the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli).

KAAN’s winning design is characterised by a shared ground floor area that serves as a ‘public area’ at the intersection of city, woodlands and public gardens. The seemingly unapproachable edifice will be transformed into a succession of attractive, transparent spaces. The bright, airy expansions will be carefully interwoven with the massive architecture of the monumental building to create a new, clearly defined and unified complex.

The aim of the design is to transform the closed-in, hierarchical building – with an atmosphere representative of people’s perception of the State in the early 1900s – into an open, transparent and inviting setting that is in line with a modern-day government think tank.

More information on the project can be found at www.B30.nl.

The Facilicom PPS B30 Consortium is made up of Facilicom, KAAN Architecten, Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, Deerns, Pieters Bouwtechniek and Rebel Group.

Project: PPP Bezuidenhoutseweg 30
Programme: Public environment with seminar rooms, conference rooms, a library, flexplace workstations, a restaurant and espresso bar and an office environment with work areas, concentration rooms, social hotspots and executive clusters.
Location: Bezuidenhoutseweg 30, The Hague, the Netherlands
Client: Government Buildings Agency, The Hague, the Netherlands
Architect: KAAN Architecten
Project team: Timo Cardol, Kevin Claus, Sebastian van Damme, Paolo Faleschini, Kees Kaan, Loes Martens, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Maurizio Papa, Dikkie Scipio, Christian Sluijmer
Design: 2013
Final acceptance: 2016
Gross floor area: 21,000sqm

For more information, please contact KAAN press: press@kaanarchitecten.com

18/02 2014

FIZ Future urban design competition – BMW Group

KAAN Architecten has been selected for the next phase of the FIZ Future urban design competition in Munich launched by BMW Group.

The project’s main goal is to expand the capacity of the area dedicated to research and innovation of ca. 500.000 to 800.000sqm.

Within more than 100 applicants, BMW Group chose 12 firms. KAAN will run along with: agps architecture (ch), AllesWirdGut Architektur ZT (at), AS&P – Albert Speer & Partner (de), BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (dk), Clive Wilkinson Architects (usa), DP architects (sg), ernst niklaus fausch architekten (ch), gmp International (de), HENN (de), West 8 urban design & landscape architecture (nl) and White arktitekter AB (se).

Here the link to the official release.

12/02 2014

KAAN with EGM architecten in design competition of the CHU Île de Nantes

Together, KAAN Architecten and EGM architecten are about to draft a design for the new Nantes hospital. They will do this in consortium with the French J.Pierre Pranlas Descours Studio (JPPD) for urban development, the Dutch engineering office Valstar-Simonis, the French engineering office EVP Ingénierie and the Spanish Boma Inpasa. Furthermore French Philippe Talbot et Associés, Cicad Consultants, TN+ and Peutz et associés are in the team.


On the whole, the European consortium has managed to qualify out of 23 inscriptions together with 3 other teams: AIA architects, which will cooperate with the Portuguese Souto de Moura, the French-Belgian Art & Build which consists of Jean-Philippe Pargade, the Artelia study office and Signes Paysage for urban development and finally the French Reichen et Robert, which consists of Groupe 6 and the study offices Ingerop, Setec and Berim.

The project teams will have six months to submit a project proposal. By the end of 2014, a definitive choice will be made by Christiane Coudrier, the superintendent of CHU Nantes.

KAAN Architecten and EGM architecten cooperated before on the university grounds of the Erasmus Medical Center. EGM architecten is responsible for the new Erasmus MC, which will open its doors in 2017. KAAN realized the Education Center in 2012.

24/01 2014

Dreamhouse wins Benelux Aluminium Award for Sustainable Renovation 2013

An independent jury composed by figures from the world of architecture, technology and media based in the Netherlands and in Belgium, among whom chairman prof. Jan Brouwer (architect, NL) and vice-chairman Thomas Dierickx (architect, BE) assigned the non-residential buildings category award to KAAN Architecten’s Dreamhouse.

The jury evaluated the entries on the basis of these criteria: the significant use of aluminium, the energy efficiency and consumption, the contemporary design, the socio-economic impact and the value added to the original building.

Dreamhouse is the renovation project of a corner shop of the Rotterdam’s Lijnbaan originally designed by Van den Broek en Bakema during the post-war years.

14/12 2012

Crematorium Aalst wins the open competition

The winner proposal of the Belgian open call is presented by Vincent Panhuysen, a crematorium that is to be built in the marshy pastures of Aalst, Oost Vlaanderen, mid-way between Brussels and Gent in Belgium.

The serene scenery sets a quiet and calming background for the intense and retrospective moment of cremation. This serenity has been carefully transposed into the ostensibly modest design that puts emphasis on natural light and varying textures in which neutral and intelligible spaces are organized to comfort guests of varying cultures.
The cohesive relationship between the building and the nature surrounding it is essential. Interior spaces are strategically orientated within the landscape to create enclosed patios blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. The seamless relationship between the building and the environment alleviates the threshold from impending solemnity.

“We wanted the design to fold around the landscape, that its calm appeases right to the core of the building” explains Vincent Panhuysen, partner and project leader.
The clear structure is key to the design. Distinct paths for the public, the staff and the expedition are crucial as the three should not cross. The linear and rhythmic plan alternating patios, open courtyards and glass walls is softened in the curved ceiling of the chapel, bringing warmth and intimacy.

The social, environmental and economic factors are balanced through the integrated ecology of the project. Sustainability is the backbone of the design, through carefully thought out orientation, the use of renewable and low carbon impact materials, state of the art heat recovery systems, zero-energy consumption is achieved.

For more images check our KAAN work section: Crematorium Aalst.

27/11 2012

The winning proposal for the Supreme Court of the Netherlands

The Government Housing Agency has commissioned the PPP project to the consortium ‘Poort van den Haag’.

The contract includes all phases of the life of the building, shortly: design, building, finance, maintaining, operating (DBFMO) over a period of 30 years.

The project will be executed by the consortium ‘Poort van den Haag’, an alliance between BAM PPP, Claus en Kaan Architecten, BAM Utiliteitsbouw, BAM Techniek and ISS Integrated Facility Services. ARUP The Netherlands and DGMR Bouw are involved as advisors.