Francine Houben leads one of The Netherlands most famous architect offices, Mecanoo. Her designs are both playfull, technically provocative, humane and firmly rooted in their context.
Currently Francine is working on several complex multi functional buildings, including the Wei-wu-ying center for the arts in Taiwan and the library of Birmingham.
Central to whatever building of whatever size is her firm commitment to beauty and the human scale. This can be seen here, in this little chapel in a Rotterdam cemetery.
Houben's work is defined by what she calls her growth rings. She started out studying social housing, moved on to aesthetics of mobility and now she occupied herself with the library, which she considers one of the most important social hubs of modern life. Currently she's working on the library of Birmingham.
The library of Birmingham wasn't Mecanoo's first library. In the nineties they designed the library for the Delft University of Technology. At a time when building new libraries wasn't so evident.
Commissioning editor Submarine: Geert van de Wetering
Producer: Olivia Sophie van Leeuwen
Research: Liselot Francken
Director: Victor Vroegindeweij
Camera: Aage Hollander
Sound: Steven van Dijk
Editor/Colour Correction: Maurik de Ridder
Music/Sound Design: Pastelle Music
Produced by Submarine, Femke Wolting & Bruno Felix
Commissioned by DutchDFA
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