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UNStudio Profile


Meet the architect, discover his vision.

In this Submarine Studio's mixed-media video, UNStudio's founder and principal architect Ben Van Berkel narrates his vision and explains the fundamental concepts that are at the very basis of his design process after about 25 years of successful architectural practice. The narration of the Dutch architect is overlapped to a series of photos, digital animations and drawings of some of UNStudio's most representative product designs and architecture projects, such as the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart and the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.

UNStudio (United Network Studio) is presented as a network of specialists in architecture, urban development and infrastructure that strongly believe in the importance of collaboration and collaborative models as an essential basis for the process of design. Each project is supported by research carried out by in-house "Knowledge Platforms", which enable each employee to gather knowledge and support the designs through shared researches. Among the most effective phases of UNStudio's planning process, the in-depth analysis of a variety of specific parameters ("Deep Planning") and a constantly experimental attitude towards both the representative methods ("New Techniques") and the construction materials ("Inventive Materials Platform") enables the firm to achieve important and effective results. In the early 1990s UNStudio was one of the first offices to introduce new digital techniques in architecture and to work with parametric design techniques and 3d modeling. The attention dedicated to a "flexible" use of buildings allowed the studio to design architectures that can be easily adapted to future demands, such as in the floor plans of the UNStudio Tower in Amsterdam (2004 – 2010) that can accommodate future residential use with no need for structural alterations. The combination of sustainability and affordability ("Attainability") is another key concept that guides the planning choices of Van Berkel's firm, such as the PV cells on opaque façade panels to harvest solar energy in the Hanwha Headquarters (2011 – ongoing; Seoul, South Korea). In this video-portfolio, Van Berkel also recalls the idea of the "After Image" of each project, the multiple layers of discovery that are generated within the image of a designed building, as it happens with the expressive minimalism of the appearance of the Galleria Department Store (2003 – 2004; Seoul, South Korea), neutral by day, activated at night.


Mentioned project: Mercedes-Benz Museum (2001 - 2006; Stuttgart, Germany); Kutaisi International Airport (2011 – 2013; Kutaisi, Georgia); Arnhem Central Train Station (1996 – 2015; Arnhem, the Netherlands); Galleria Department Store (2003 - 2004; Seoul, South Korea); Kutaisi International Airport (2011 – 2013; Kutaisi, Georgia); ViLA NM (2000 – 2007; Upstate New York, USA); MUMUTH Music Theatre and Faculty Building (1998 – 2008; University of Graz, Austria); Office and residential building V on Shenton (2010 – 2016; Singapore); Ardmore Residence (2006 – 2013; Singapore); Hanwha Headquarters (2011 – ongoing; Seoul, South Korea); EEA & Tax Offices (2006 – 2011; Groningen, the Netherlands); UNStudio Tower (2004 – 2010, Amsterdam, the Netherlands); Canaletto Tower (2011 – 2015; London, UK); Erasmus Bridge (1990 – 1996; Rotterdam, the Netherlands); Luxury shopping complex (2011 – 2013; Hanjie Wanda Square, Wuhan, China); Galleria Department Store (2003 – 2004; Seoul, South Korea); La Defense Offices (1999 – 2004; Almere, the Netherlands); The W.I.N.D. House (2009 – 2014; Noord-Holland, the Netherlands); Xintiandi Installation (2014; Shanghai, China); Haus am Weinberg (2008 – 2011; Stuttgart, Germany); Seating Stones for Walter Knoll (2012); Circle Sofa for Walter Knoll (2005); SitTable for Proof (2010)

The Netherlands 2014
Duration: 13'56''