For years, architecture could only be experienced by architects. Soeters Van Eldonk architecten (architects and planners) designs unique, beautiful and recognizable buildings that get noticed and appreciated by regular people. Thus, the office aims to contribute towards an awareness of the built environment for people other than architects only. After all, the city belongs to all of us.
Soeters Van Eldonk architecten believes that urban design deserves maximum attention. It is essential to envision good and sustainable structures. Strong and recognizable compositions can endure for hundreds of years, even if the functions contained by the buildings only last several decades. For Soeters Van Eldonk architecten, sustainable urban design means contemplating the shape of the public space. That kind of sustainability leads to much more profound results. In the end, it is not just about energy efficiency, but about quality, compactness, security, social structure, and mobility as well.
A residential areas appreciated by their users will be cherished by everyone, as will a building in which people feel pleasant. Cherished buildings are seldom refurbished, even when their function change, and they are never demolished. A public space that is carefully dimensioned towards a human scale and that is loved by people lasts longer, just like a building that people care about. Demolishing existing buildings does not just represent the destruction of capital and a burden on the environment, but it also affects the people’s collective memory. Wherever possible, Soeters Van Eldonk architecten considers the possibility of including existing buildings into their new environment or of transforming them towards a new function. Consequently, we are driven by flexibility in the short term, adaptability in the medium term and sustainability in the long term.
In many projects Soeters Van Eldonk approaches sustainability in the classic sense. But times do not stand still. Global warming is a reality and naturally Soeters Van Eldonk supports society’s wish to utilize energy carefully and consciously. As a result, the office considers the sustainability of structures, materials and installations. In all of our projects Soeters Van Eldonk cooperate with the client to set targets regarding these issues. Solutions that have been proven successful in the past are automatically included in the design, but newer, environmentally beneficial solutions are also integrated into the design. However, an even more fascinating challenge is to maximize the architectural potential of sustainability and manifest it in the building’s appearance. “Because although we have futuristic technology, emotionally we are rooted in the 17th century.” (Sjoerd Soeters)
Soeters Van Eldonk have the knowledge and ability to discuss all aspects of the application of building installation concepts with engineers, agencies, government departments, experts and users. In addition, we know how to listen carefully, talk effectively and how to apply a large amount of perseverance and brainpower. This way, sustainability is no longer abstract – instead, it generates innovative solutions for myriad problems and it contributes intelligently towards the design. Sometimes, the type of design solution is a proven concept, other times it’s experimental but it is always safe, effective and aesthetic.
Building is a stain for people and the environment. Considering which materials to apply is essential when dealing with limited energy and physical resources carefully and consciously. Responsible use of materials encompasses so much more than just recycling and minimizing maintenance. Buildings are better when their beauty increases as the years go by; when they acquire a sort of patina. This is why sustainability also relates to careful and rich detailing. When selecting materials Soeters Van Eldonk also considers the consequences on energy use for production, transport and processing them. Here, Soetsers Van Eldonk architecten delves into local traditions and local use of materials. That adds identity to buildings, as well as an amount of historic and local context. Couleur Locale is more than just appearance: it indicates the characteristic uses and habits of the location.