frans van der werf
Ir. Frans van der Werf (Netherlands,1937) completed his study in architecture and urban planning at the Delft University with his awarded project: ‘Housing in a Linear City’, in which he already anticipated Open Building ideas. He participated in the planning of Evry, a new town near Paris. He practiced social housing, city centers, care centers and urban planning schemes (projects and videos), from 1990 on in a bio-ecological and organic architecture.
Today Frans presents the new Open Building proposition: ‘The Transformation of Slums into Low-rise High-Density Urban Districts’. It contains a structure of three solid floors plus attics around courtyards and streets, with the option of including local facilities for sustainable energy, rainwater harvesting, grey water purification and roof gardening. Occupants fill their private homes into the open floor spaces of support buildings (projects, lectures and consultation).
From the beginning Frans has been convinced that users/residents need to be empowered to decide the layout and fit-out of individual dwelling units. As one of the first architects he pioneered user participation through the separation of support and infill. He also advocated the quality of ‘urban tissues’ on which he co-developed the new design method SAR73 with John Habraken. He served on the boards of the Foundation of Architectural Research (SAR), the Open Building Foundation and the Association of Bio-Ecological Architecture(VIBA), also supporting the movements by lectures and workshops all over the world.
In his work Frans also applies Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language as a communication tool facilitating the design process, in particular stakeholder participation about the relationship between the form of public spaces and a supposed quality of human experience therein.
Frans authored the book ‘Open Ontwerpen’ (Open Design) in which he discusses his professional experience and innovations in Open Building projects.
Today Frans wants to share his experience by lectures, excursions, workshops and local consultations. You are welcome to contact him.