This episode of BW Sessions is presented in collaboration with The Chicago Architecture Foundation and explores the architectural practice of Mecanoo through the perspective of the firm’s founder, Francine Houben. Although widely known in The Netherlands and Europe for buildings focused on people, place, and purpose, Mecanoo is only just beginning to gain increasing recognition in the United States for their work on projects such as the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Boston and the renovation of the Mies van der Rohe-designed Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington, D.C. “Architecture must appeal to all the senses,” Houben says.
“Architecture is never a purely intellectual, conceptual, or visual game alone. Architecture is about combining all the individual elements into a single concept. What counts in the end is the arrangement of form and emotion.” She expresses this in her work by combining the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture and through her consideration of light and beauty.