Sustainable Urbanism

Sustainability is hot. What exactly is sustainability? And what 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 viewed practically and soberly?

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 from materials, structures and construction methods that are available locally. We limit transport, demolition, and maintenance. We avoid experiments with associated failure costs. We propose materials that 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 living. HvdHA puts urban continuity above experimentation. We design for the European city, which slowly adapts to new conditions.

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

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


Photo: Jan Bijl, Rotterdam