Francine Houben: Dutch mountains

Dutch architect Francine Houben discusses the recent work of her firm.

December 1, 2011
7:00 p.m.

Francine Houben | La Llotja theatre and conference centre, Lleida, Spain. Image courtesy Mecanoo

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Francine Houben, creative director and founding architect of the Dutch firm Mecanoo, will present her office’s recent work and design philosophy. With offices in Delft and Birmingham, UK, Mecanoo’s ambition is to design buildings with “a strong respect for context: physically, historically, and environmentally.”

Projects of note include the Technical University Delft Library; Montevideo residential tower in Rotterdam’s harbor district; Phillips Business Innovation Centre FiftyTwoDegreesin Nijmegen, The Netherlands; La Llotja Theatre and Congress Centre in Lleida, Spain; Bijlmerpark, Amsterdam; the soon to be opened Library of Birmingham, integrated with the REP Theatre in the UK; and the 2015-anticipated Delft City Hall and Train Station. Her projects in the Far East include Wei Wu Ying Centre for the Arts, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Whistling Rock Golf Club, in Chuncheon, South Korea.

In 1999, Houben was named professor in Architecture, chair Aesthetics of Mobility, at the University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands. She became director of the 1st International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2003, with “Mobility, a room with a view” as a theme. In 2007, she was a visiting professor at Harvard University and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Publications include her 2001 manifesto, Composition, Contrast, Complex­ity; a 2008 monograph on the firm published in the series Masters of Architecture by The Images Publishing Group; and the forthcoming, Dutch Mountains, on her experience as a global architect.

Moderated by Annabelle Selldorf. Selldorf is the principal of Selldorf Architects and serves as President of the Architectural League of New York.


This lecture is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. This program is The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union’s annual Eleanore Pettersen Lecture.

This program is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.



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