Dream Builders: Francine Houben
The world's greatest architects and designers talk to BBC's Razia Iqbal at the RIBA
Francine Houben is one of the Netherlands’ leading architects who, with her practice Mecanoo Architecten, has sought to create buildings that ‘touch all the senses.’ Her architecture encompasses ‘emotional, social, playful and humane aspects’ as well as intellectual, conceptual and visual ones.
From ground breaking housing projects in her early years, she has gone on to design signature projects including the Philips Business Innovation Centre, FiftyTwoDegrees in Nijmegen, (2005-2006), La Llotja Theatre and Conference Centre in Lleida, Spain (2009), the Delft University of Technology Library (1999) and Europe’s largest Library building in Birmingham, UK (2013). Current projects include The Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the Dudley Municipal Center in Boston, USA and in Shenzhen Cultural Center in China.
© Marcovan Rijt
Houben lectures widely on issues surrounding urban design and from 2002 to 2006 put these into practice as City Architect for Almere in the Netherlands. Houben is an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Royal Institute of British Architects and in 2014, the Architects' Journal awarded her UK Woman Architect of the Year.
In partnership with the BBC, the RIBA brings you an opportunity to hear Francine Houben interviewed by Razia Iqbal about her unique approach to architecture, a passion for light and beauty and striving to work in untraditional ways. A recording of the event will be broadcast by the BBC World Service.