«Build in Timber!»
«Build in Timber!»
«Build in Timber!»
I’m Kevin Veenhuizen, besides architecture I like to spend most of my time on the bike (road, gravel, forest). In 2013, during my master thesis at TU Delft, I founded KVa. In the years prior to that I also studied at TU Berlin and TiTech in Tokyo. My goal was to expand the team because I didn’t like to work alone. In 2016 the first intern joined and in 2017 the first employee joined, his name is Guillaume Pfefferle and he still works at KVa. Guillaume is an important discussion partner when it comes to architectural design. We are now with four architects and like to grow steadily. During lunch, at the office or outside, we don’t talk about work.
I learned that creating a building or renovation is a complex process. When we can find an unexpected system that is simple and achieves spatial quality, we say it clicks. That moment, especially when we can transfer that idea to the client, is very nice to have.
It’s a nice feeling when you have gained the trust of a client and you go on a journey together. Testing, discussing and redesigning the project together in an open collaboration can finally result in a nice building. This happened in one of our latest projects, Bosvilla Noordwijk, where we worked on for three years in close collaboration with the clients.
For whatever reason you start an office, I think it’s important to develop the business side as well. Artists and creators are not always doing that because it’s not sexy and interesting. But investing time in setting up the office as a business, finally enabled me to focus more on architectural quality and not worry (too much) about finances. I would advice young entrepreneurial architects to use their own network, for (free) advise to set up a system that works for them in terms of acquisition, budgeting, hour registration, planning, PR, HR, etc.
Our office is based in a former school building in the centre of Amsterdam, which was completely renovated to atelier spaces. I live in Rotterdam so I commute two or three times a week to meet the team. I like to be connected to both cities and realise projects in several places, it’s good to feel different dynamics. In the bigger cities we mainly do new family houses within a building block and renovations/transformations, in the less dense areas we build freestanding villas preferably in natural environments.
At the moment I work from my home in Rotterdam, together with my co-workers Oli and Philipe.
I’m worried about the position of the architect as we call ‘’bouwmeester’’. In my opinion housing for example should not be a commercial product that aims for maximum profit. It should bring our society and climate goals forward, and the architect is the right person to do that. Of course if he or she can control to process until final completion. As architects we are trained to bring new ideas to the table and create a coherent whole out of complexity.
Like most architects, I prefer the physical model for designing in early stages. It is honest and easy to understand for clients. For later stage design we like to make a detailed section with the computer and combine it with a Photoshop elevation, this gives both technical and aesthetic information.
Build in timber!
I mainly follow offices that realise residential architecture since we are also in that segment. And there are too many to name, but I wish I designed Spaarndammerhart by Marcel Lok and Korth Tielens Architecten. It’s a beautiful modern interpretation of the School of Amsterdam architecture. For renovations I like to follow Belgium offices like Raamwerk, KOMAAN! and Blaf.
Photography: MWA Hart Nibbrig