Profile Space Encounters

Profile

Space Encounters creates innovative and remarkable architecture on all scales. With great joy and sensitivity we design buildings and spaces for living, working and playing that take a resounding position and give a lasting positive impact to its surroundings and users. The practice has a broad expertise in commisions regarding transformation, building in complex urban contexts and sustainable living solutions.

Space Encounters is an internationally operating and award winning architecture firm led by the brothers Gijs and Joost Baks. In a contrarian and hands-on fashion we approach each project as an invitation to find an answer to the question: What is the best the project can be? In every collaboration we see a shared exploration into the pursuit of well-made architecture, which involves an open and optimistic attitude in finding the best responses.

As a team we discuss our view(s) on architecture and architectural thinking regularly. The following statements are recaps from these conversations.

Architecture is about the future

We believe that through our work we challenge and strive to improve the status quo. Architecture is about the future, but inextricably linked to the past, as a form of continued history projected into the future. We aim to design revolutionary, optimistic buildings.

It has to be an experiment

We aim to connect to people with imaginative and articulated architecture that results in strong images, whether ornamental or abstract, hand-crafted or technological, spectacular or quiet. We aim to let the poetics of architecture manifest in surprising combinations of program, material and users.

Lyrical minimalism is a our way to deal with economic constraints

We believe that less choices make better projects. In the unavoidable process of retrenchment, we bring our designs to their essence. This lyrical minimalism, to us, is the concurrence of essence and accident. We don't shun the banal and excel in making buildings express great value while economical to build.

We foster respect and understanding with our clients

By taking adequate time to think with our clients during the design process, we provide solutions of greater clarity and quality. Together, we identify the core questions of a commission and cultivate shared positions from which we collectively evaluate the architectural proposals that follow.

Is the complexity of the city comparable to the complexity of nature?

We see city and nature as the same thing only with different conditions. Operating within existing (urban) landscapes means the transformation of existing multiple and parallel realities. All creation is transformation. The majority of the human population is living in cities. For a healthy future, sustainable and radical inclusiveness is needed without losing the identity of the places. Existing structures or buildings need to be revalued to create more living than destruction. How can they be the basis for something better? We believe in de smart desification of our current cities by means of transformation of and the addition to the existing buildingmass.

The endless space of the universe

We approach architecture in a holistic way. The line between nature and architecture is diffuse for us and although our main clients are human, our vision is not anthropocentric. We consider humans as part of a complex system; our spaceship earth. We do not strictly build for humans, but consider a bigger picture. Not only by accommodating contemporary needs, wishes and objectives, but also by imagining what the future could be and facilitate it. Our buildings are open structures, subject to change and transformation.

Thinking and doing

The curiosity for innovation and refreshing perspectives keeps us moving. In a controlled mixture of soberness and capriciousness we combine conceptual thinking and craftsmanship. Associative thinking and spontaneous creation are generated by physical modeling.

We are storytellers

We see architecture as a romantic discipline that is approached scientifically. We are romanticists working with and within rationalised paradigms to create conditions for the richness of places to unfold. Telling stories to uncover the potential of assignments, places and sights is part of our DNA.

Let's take an optimistic position

We do not pretend that architecture provides solutions but are convinced that good architecture is relevant. Knowing that the result will be a realised building, model or sketch manifested on a 1:1 scale, stimulates a natural optimism. Making architecture requires optimistic willingness to do the work. This optimism is based on the trust in, the curiosity for and the dedication to the journey ahead.

Honours

  • 2020 Winner Gulden Feniks
    Het Platform, De Nieuwe Stad
  • 2020 Winner Stadsbouwprijs Amersfoort
    Het Platform
  • 2020 Winner Architectenweb Award Office Building of the Year
    Het Platform
  • 2020 AR Building honourable mention for Heuvelinkprijs Arnhem
  • 2019 Dezeen nomination Emerging Architect of the Year
  • 2018 Nomination Amsterdamse Nieuwbouwprijs
    CPO Apartments Zaaiersweg
  • 2018 Winner Frame Award Emerging Designer of the Year
  • 2018 Winner ARC17 Interior Award, Sony Music Entertainment office
  • 2017 Winner The International Architecture Award
    Joolz office
  • 2017 Nominated Geurt Brinkgreve Bokaal
    Joolz office
  • 2017 Nomination Geurt Brinkgreve Bokaal
    CPO Apartments Zaaiersweg
  • 2017 Winner BNA Building of the Year (Stimulating Environments)
    Joolz office
  • 2017 Winner Next Step Award
  • 2016 Nominated ARC16 Interior Award
    Joolz office
  • 2016 Finalist Dutch Design Awards
    Boring Collection
  • 2016 Winner Milan Design Award
    Boring Collection
  • 2014 First prize Best Architecture Almere
    Rebel House

Clients

  • Schipper Bosch Ontwikkeling, Amersfoort
  • Van Wijnen Ontwikkeling, Diemen
  • Synchroon, Utrecht
  • Edwin Oostmeijer Ontwikkeling, Amsterdam
  • Being Development, Amsterdam
  • Heijmans, Rosmalen
  • CBRE, Amsterdam
  • Leyten, Rotterdam
  • Stebru, Nieuwenkerk aan den IJssel
  • Kondor Wessels Projecten, Maarssen
  • Kondor Wessels Vastgoed, Amsterdam
  • Boelens De Gruyter, Amsterdam
  • Flow Real Estate
  • VORM Ontwikkeling, Rotterdam
  • Edge Technologies, Amsterdam
  • Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, Den Haag
  • Apenkooi Events, Amsterdam
  • Certitudo, Den Bosch
  • Lingotto
  • Mevrouw Meijer, Amsterdam
  • Karbouw, Amersfoort
  • De Berg Real Estate, Amsterdam

Competitions (tenders and selections)

  • 2022 Architectenselectie, Rotterdam, 1st prize
    Het Gele Gebouw,
  • 2021 Prijsvraag Buitenplaats Koningsweg, Arnhem, 1st prize
    Dolmen
  • 2021 Ontwikkeltender Westersingel, Rotterdam, in collaboration with ZUS, final round
    Go West
  • 2019 Architectenselectie, Bern (CH), in collaboration with Frischi Beis Architektur, 1st prize
    Siedlung Holliger
  • 2019 Ontwikkeltender Bakemapark, Amsterdam, final round
    Geus
  • 2018 Ontwikkeltender Kenniskwartier Zuidas, Amsterdam, in collaboration with Powerhouse Company and So-iL, final round
    Kenniskwartier
  • 2017 Ontwikkeltender Schalkwijk, Haarlem, final round
    Aziepark
  • 2016 Architectenselectie, Groningen, 1st prize
    NCG office
  • 2016 Architectenselectie, Amsterdam, 1st prize
    Joolz office
  • 2015 Architectenselectie, Amsterdam, 1st prize
    Clink Noord
  • 2014 Ontwikkeltender Watergraafsmeer, Amsterdam, 1st prize
    Zaaiersweg apartments
  • 2014 Architectenselectie, Amsterdam, 1st prize
    Sid Lee office

Jury member

  • 2021 Architectenweb Awards
  • 2018 BNA Gebouw van het Jaar

Teaching

  • Academie van Bouwkunst, Amsterdam
  • Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst, Rotterdam
  • Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Delft
  • Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag
  • Fontys Academie voor Architectuur en Stedenbouw, Tilburg

Selected publications

  • 2020 April Bauen in Stahl Steeldoc, Radikal schonend, Het Platform
  • 2020 August Bouwen met staal magazine, Een typologische cross-over, Het Platform
  • 2020 May mrisse Zeitschrift fur Baukultur (DE), Zusammengefasst, Het Platform
  • 2020 May Bauwelt (DE), Ontwikkeling, Het Platform de Architect, Start-up Space Encounters
  • 2019 September de Architect, ARC19 Awards, Synchroon Office
  • 2019 April Domus magazine (IT), Space Encounters creates temporary museum of Dutch creativity, The Museum
  • 2018 December de Architect, Cover photo, Transito
  • 2018 November D, Gezond bouwen wordt de number one thing, Joost Baks
  • 2018 June FD Magazine, De Kantoortuin, JOOLZ Office
  • 2018 April Dude, dutch design magazine, Rebel Bar, Transito
  • 2017 November de Architect, ARC17 Awards, Sony Music Office
  • 2017 September de Architect, Start-up Space Encounters
  • 2017 September Monocle, Youthfull exuberance, JOOLZ Office
  • 2017 July FRAME Magazine, Space Encounters implants the green office trend into a former factory, Joolz Office
  • 2017 April Jaarboek Architectuur in Nederland 2016-2017, JOOLZ Office
  • 2017 April de Volkskrant, Space Encounters wint eerste Next Step Award
  • 2017 February Architectenweb Magazine, Inside-out, JOOLZ Office
  • 2016 November de Architect, ARC16 Awards, JOOLZ Office
  • 2016 October Dutch Design Today, Boring Collection
  • 2016 April Corriere Della Sera, Cover photo, Boring Collection in Milano
  • 2014 January de Volkskrant, Delicaat doosje, Rebel House
  • 2013 July Wallpaper* Magazine, Architects Directory, SH House
  • 2013 February MARK Magazine, Sharpens the rear, SH House
  • 2012 November A10 new European architecture, Delicatessen kit, Dames Dietz
  • 2012 August Architectuur NL magazine, Dames Dietz
  • 2012 March Industrieel Bouwen met Hout, Dames Dietz

Team Space Encounters

Former Team Members

We believe in the continuous growth of knowledge and experience. After having worked with us, some former team members started their own successful office.

  • Daniël Ankoné (NL)
  • Iñigo Berriozabal Armesto (ES)
  • Roxana Aron (RO)
  • Cristina Asla (ES)
  • Esther Bentvelsen (NL)
  • Raquelle Bergsma (NL)
  • David van der Blonk (NL)
  • Menno Brouwer (NL)
  • Carlos Callejo (ES) (atlasarchitects.eu)
  • Tsz Ho Chau (HK)
  • Alberto Doncato (IT)
  • Mahla Ebrahimpour (IR)
  • Eric Goldhoorn (NL) (weelgoldhoorn.com)
  • Daan van Gool (NL)
  • Isabella Del Grandi (IT)
  • Bram van den Heuvel (NL) (svdh.nl)
  • Jonathan Hibma (NL)
  • Isai Hoogeveen (NL)
  • Dobritsa Ivanova (RU)
  • Clara Jansen (NL)
  • Katarina Labathova (SK)
  • Vincent van Leeuwen (NL) (studiovincent.eu)
  • Ana Lima (PT)
  • Damien Loch (GBR)
  • Martina Lucchese (IT)
  • Rick Mouwen (NL)
  • Anna Paluch (PL)
  • Anthea Pappà (IT)
  • Marius van de Pol (NL)
  • Agata Popieluch (PL)
  • Diede Ramakers (BE)
  • Job van der Sande (NL)
  • Naomi Cheung San (NL)
  • Ines van Sandick (NL)
  • Ines van Sandick (NL)
  • Matilde Scali (IT)
  • Antione Servigne (F)
  • Riccardo Sforzi (IT)
  • Anna Sitnikova (RU)
  • Arnoud Stavenuiter (NL)
  • Piotr Michal Szczesniak (PL)
  • Vera Tamburlin (IT)
  • Maria van der Togt (NL)
  • Giulia Tomaselli (IT)
  • Maria Tsilogianni (GR)
  • Robbe Vandewyngaerde (BE) (objectswithnarratives.com)
  • Maria Vankova (SK)
  • Vadim Varnerot (F) (gras-varnerot.com)
  • Anke Verhees (NL)
  • Leon Verhoeven (NL)
  • Remi Versteeg (NL) (beyond-space.eu)
  • Puck Vogelpoel (NL)
  • Jordy Vos (NL) (atlasarchitects.eu)
  • Stijn de Weerd (NL) (beyond-space.eu)
  • Sarah el Yousefy (BE)
  • Andy Yu (AU)
  • Jelmer van Zelm (NL)
  • Keimpke Zigterman (NL) (unknownarchitects.nl)

Recruitement

We are always looking for talented people to join our multidisciplinary team. Space Encounters is about fostering bright and driven minds. Creativity is at the heart of it all, from what we do to how we do it. The office is a dynamic and nurturing environment: a place to grow and to become part of something bigger. Do you think that you would make a great addition to our team?

We are currently looking for:

Experienced technical architect

With 3-5 years of experience with high-profile projects for leading clients. Extensive knowledge of the Dutch language and the Dutch building regulations is required. Passion for details and materialisation a necessity.

Motivated interns

From (international) Architectural Schools for internships with a minimum duration of 6 months. Excellent knowledge of Archicad, Autocad, Adobe CS, strong modelmaking skills and a talent for design are required. Fluency in Dutch and rendering skills are a plus.

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