Hans van der Heijden
Hans (the Hague, NL, 1963) grew up in the post-war Prinsenhof in Leidschendam as the son of an architectural technician and the grandson of a furniture maker. He studied architecture and urban design at TH Delft, where he further developed the interest in building that he had inherited from his family.
Hans specialised in housing design and in 1988 was one of the first students to graduate with a proposal for the densification of the post-war Mariahoeve district in The Hague. During his studies, Hans worked at Mecanoo on the company’s first large-scale housing projects. In 1994, together with Rick Wessels, he founded biq stadsontwerp. In 1996 he won the international Europan Prize for a design for the redevelopment of a post-war housing estate in Liverpool.
Since leaving biq in 2014, Hans has worked under his own name in Amsterdam and participated in the manifestation WerkBundStadt Berlin. Hans is also an honorary visiting professor for contemporary architectural practice at Liverpool University and a member of the Potsdam Design Council.
Hans van der Heijden’s portfolio includes housing, urban design, adaptive reuse, cultural buildings and research. His award-winning designs include the regeneration of Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool and the urban regeneration of Hessenberg and Lakerlopen. NRC journalist Bernard Hulsman named the Rotterdam Persoonshaven social housing project the most important architectural design of 2020.
Photo: Jan Bijl, Rotterdam