Sustainable Urbanism

Sustainability is hot. What exactly is sustainability? And how can architects contribute? What knowledge and skills do architects need if sustainability is to be understood more broadly than a purely technical task? Can sustainability be considered in a practical and sober way?

In any case, economy, reuse, and design for the long term are nothing new. We learn from history.

HvdHA starts at the beginning. We start with locally available materials, structures and construction methods. We limit transport, demolition and maintenance. We avoid experimentation and the cost of failure. We suggest materials that will stand the test of time.

We value manual labour over machine production.

HvdHA designs for the long term. We use the typology of architecture to design changeable buildings.

The office focuses on the conventions of living and working. We anchor buildings in life. HvdHA prioritises urban continuity over experimentation. We design for the European city that slowly adapts to new conditions.

We draw on 30 years of experience with urban renewal and renovation projects. Hans’ work as Professor of Sustainable Urban Design at Cambridge University and his book Architecture in the Fractured City add knowledge to that.

Hans van der Heijden, Jeffrey Reule, Harmen van der Wilt


Photo: Jan Bijl, Rotterdam