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Frits Van Dongen


Dutch architect Frits van Dongen (1946) graduated in 1980 from the University of Technology, Delft and began working with Kas Oosterhuis (1951), with whom he would produce notable publications and projects.
In 1985 he founded Van Dongen Architekten in Delft. The Natal complex in Rotterdam paved the way for a series of large-scale housing projects which, along with his masterplans, are characteristic of his subsequent body of work.

Three years later he founded the noted practice Architekten Cie (1988) alongside Carel Weeber, Pi de Bruijn and Jan Dirk Peereboom Voller.
Currently, he works with his design studio Frits van Dongen Architecten en Planners (2018) which has offices in Amsterdam. With an extensive multi-disciplinary network, each project is "a specific response to its urban and social context". The Practice strives to provide economically aware, considered and enduring projects "through a working method of communication and client involvement".

Notable projects include the design of The Whale housing complex (2000) in the Amsterdam docklands, inspired by the surrounding water. With its rhythmic cadence and inner area that is almost like a public garden, this “sea” of low-rise buildings (over 200 homes of various types plus offices), enhances and redefines the “closed block” concept and is one of the most significant urban redevelopments of the 2000s.
Another significant project is the large Funen housing complex in Amsterdam (305 apartments, 3000m² of office space and underground parking) built in a former industrial area. This “garden city” combines landscape development with original, connected, high density urban housing.

Other major projects include the De Landtong residential and commercial development in Rotterdam (1998), urban development of the Ijburg artificial island, Amsterdam (1999) and Cap Gemini office towers, Utrecht (2004).
Van Dongen has also designed acclaimed music and cultural facilities including the Heineken Music Hall (2001), Conservatorium van Amsterdam (2007) and Philharmonie Concert Hall in Haarlem (2006).
In 2012, van Dongen opened a new practice with Patrick Koschuch, part of the Architekten Cie team, named Van Dongen-Koschuch Architects and Planners.

Numerous projects designed by this Practice during the partnership (2012-2019), include the Kunstcluster (Art Cluster, 2014) in the Dutch city of Nieuwegein.
The building, part of a wide-ranging urban regeneration process in the town center to provide "a new town hall, shops, houses and offices above street level and underground parking," "comprises two blocks: a theater with arts center, and a multi-storey car park with an outlet store on the ground floor” (The Plan).

“The first houses an auditorium and theater with a podium and ample stage which seats audiences of up to 700 people, while the second, smaller theater, with seating capacity for 200 people, has a retractable stage suitable for all types of events (...) The arts center located above the theater is a multi-purpose venue for music, dance and acting classes. The complex is completed by three foyers and a theater café overlooking the central town square. (Domus)

Alongside Koschuch, van Dongen continued to design major concert halls and theaters in the Netherlands including the Theatre de Kampanje, Den Helder (2015), Speelhuis Theater, Helmond (2018) and Musis Sacrum, Arnhem (2018).
He received the Kubus award in 2006 from the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA) for his work in the Netherlands. In 2011 he was appointed Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands, a role he held until 2015.

Awards received include the Korean Award for Collective Housing, for the Gangnam district, Seoul, and BNA - Building of the Year Award for the Musis Sacrum, Arnhem.
Van Dongen has also had a long and prestigious academic career, lecturing at several universities including the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona.
He was a member of the jury for the first Floornature Next Landmark contest in 2012.
Frits Van Dongen selected works and projects
- Complesso residenziale Frame Houthavens (con Koschuch Architects), Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), 2019
- Speelhuis Theatre (con Koschuch Architects), Helmond (Paesi Bassi), 2018
- Musis Sacrum (con Koschuch Architects), Arnhem (Paesi Bassi), 2018
- Hyatt Regency Hotel (con Koschuch Architects), Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), 2017
- Bouwstart House (progetto, con Koschuch Architects), Delft (Paesi Bassi), 2017
- Theatre de Kampanje (con Koschuch Architects), Den Helder (Paesi Bassi), 2015
- Kunstcluster, Nieuwegein (Paesi Bassi), 2014
- Progetto Block A5 Gangnam District, Seul (Corea del Sud), 2013
- Edificio polifunzionale Ypenburg 19 Couperus, L’Aia (Paesi Bassi), 2012
- Progetto masterplan Toronto waterfront, Toronto (Canada), 2010
- Progetto edificio Social Affairs and Employment (SoZaWe), Groningen (Paesi Bassi), 2009
- Progetto di riqualifica della Stazione Sloterdijk, Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi)
- 24 residenze, Bosrijk, Eindhoven (Paesi Bassi), 2008
- Conservatorio di Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), 2007
- Spazio shopping centre, Zoetermeer (Paesi Bassi), 2006
- Filarmonica Concert Hall, Haarlem (Paesi Bassi), 2006
- Complesso residenziale Funen, Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), 2005
- Uffici Cap Gemini, Utrecht (Paesi Bassi), 2004
- Progetto edificio The Cultural Green Heart, L’Aia (Paesi Bassi)
- Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam-Zuidoost (Paesi Bassi), 2001
- Cinema multisala Pathé-ArenaA, Amsterdam-Zuidoost (Paesi Bassi), 2000
- Complesso residenziale Batavia, Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), 2000
- Complesso residenziale The Whale, Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), 2000
- Masterplan per Haveneiland, IJburg, Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), 1999
- Complesso residenziale De Landtong, Rotterdam (Paesi Bassi), 1998
- Appartamenti Delfts Blue, Delft (Paesi Bassi), 1998
- Teatro e sala concerti De Harmonie, Leeuwarden (Paesi Bassi), 1994
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