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Views on architecture and urban development in the Euregion

11 May 2007
NAiM brought together the official national architects of the Netherlands and Belgium for a unique evening lecture. They presented their views on architecture and urban development in the Euregion and on the differences and similarities between the Netherlands and Belgium.

Speakers: Mels Crouwel and Marcel Smets

How will architecture and urbanism in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine evolve over the coming decades? What social and economic issues will carry the upper hand in the future debates on spatial planning and architecture? How does the Netherlands deal with these issues and what accents are important for the Belgian government?

For the first time, the Netherlands Architecture Institute Maastricht brings together the official governmental architects of the Netherlands and Belgium for a unique evening lecture. The Dutch Chief Government Architect Mels Crouwel and Flemish Government Architect Marcel Smets are invited to the auditorium of the Academy of Fine Arts Maastricht on Friday, May 11, 2007 at 8 pm, where they present their views on architecture and urbanism in the Euregion and the differences and similarities between the Netherlands and Belgium.

Mels Crouwel is the 13th Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands. Mels Crouwel (1953) graduated as an engineer at the Technical University of Delft in 1979. In 1979, he founded Benthem Crouwel Architekten BV in Amsterdam, together with Jan Benthem. Since October 2004, Mels Crouwel fulfills the role of Chief Government Architect on a part-time basis. He also remains connected to Benthem Crouwel, with which he has designed many projects, including Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Master Plan 1988 to 2003 and Schiphol Centre 2000), the Mali Tower in The Hague (1996) and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam (1999). He has also realized projects as Museum De Pont and the 013 in Tilburg. Recently, the Moerdijk Bridge for the HSL was realized, also designed by Benthem Crouwel. Mels Crouwel has received several awards for his work, including the prestigious BNA Cube in 1999.

Flemish Government Architect Marcel Smets studied architecture at the University of Ghent (1970) and urban planning at the Technical University of Delft (1974). He received his doctorate in Applied Sciences at the K.U. Leuven (1976), where he was appointed lecturer (1978) and Professor (1985). He has published several articles and books on the history of urban planning in Belgium and the contemporary practice of urban design in Europe. He is a member of the scientific committee of European, participated in many juries and gave lectures as a visiting professor at the ILAUD in Urbino, Italy, the faculty of architecture in Thessaloniki, Greece, and the GSD of Harvard University. Since 1989, he leads the Urban Design Project, a research group at the K.U. Leuven that focuses on the reconstruction and redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites and worn out infrastructure. In that role, he has been responsible for the substantive transformation of the Leuven station area and acted as an architectural designer of studies and projects in Antwerp, Leuven, Hoeilaart, Turnhout, Rouen, Genua and Conegliano.