Bureau B+B has been around for more than 40 years. In The Netherlands it is righteously considered a cradle of successful landscape architects. Despite the vast portfolio and the inseparable heritage of B+B, the editors of Landezine were convinced and impressed by the latest projects that were designed by a team of young designers.
We recognize the work of Bureau B+B, mainly for their ability of combining innovative engineering approaches with context based design. They master a diverse span of attitudes; from being subtle and quiet, to making radical changes, or being playful. B+B’s recent designs reflect all the needed skills for handling complex tasks; from a busy urban train station to residential landscapes fit for the future, to wetlands.
But it is the work that tackles heritage sites that really separates B+B from an already remarkable crowd of Dutch landscape architects. The precision that is found in Tempel and Nieuw Rhodenrijs Estates or the conceptual clarity of the LILA 2019 winning project Objets Trouvés reflects the ability to untangle time-related complexities, to curate and to offer new, meaningful experiences.- from the award statements
Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture links decades of experience to young talent. Our designs are clear and functional, but also poetic. By inquisitive design, we find answers to current themes. We create meaningful places, inviting people to develop their own activities. Precision and craftsmanship are essential to our work. We care for the project from initial sketch to final completion.
Stepping stone for talent
Since its founding in 1977 Bureau B+B built up a rich experience. At the same time, we keep attracting young talent. Because the bureau renews itself continuously, it keeps finding fresh solutions to current themes. The bureau is organized as a collective, allowing all employees to develop their own style. The team is made up of people from various backgrounds, personalities and fascinations. Employees often develop into leading designers and eventually start their own business. Equal cooperation and interdisciplinary exchange are a constant factor at the bureau.
The open, collective company culture causes our style to vary from project to project. Even so, our designs can be recognized by their poetic clarity. We aim for clear and explainable designs. The framework is powerful, the details are subtle and refined. The designs always contain a remarkable idea or an unconventional intervention that lifts the spatial experience above the functional. A clear, functional foundation creates opportunity for emotion, tactility and the poetic component of a design.
Reading the place
Every design starts with research of the existing elements, traditions and culture of the location. We consider a design successful, when it makes people feel at home and invites them to develop their own activities. During the design process we often choose to make hand sketches and analogue models. These models and sketches immediately communicate an idea, without getting lost in details. This allows for intuition and inventiveness. We read the location and add a chapter, so the story of the place can be told over and over.
No matter how spectacular the design is, a mediocre construction ruins everything. We aim for the highest quality possible. For this, precision and craftsmanship are essential. This is reflected in the details, but also in our knowledge of construction and materials. We often design unique pavement stones, furniture and fences, tailor made for the specific location and design. In order to achieve the best end result, we supervise the design from sketch to completion.
The new bicycle bridge over the Amsterdam Rhine Canal connects the new town Leidsche Rijn with the inner city of Utrecht. In the new design, the new bridge, the building of the school and the Victor Hugo Park are linked as one coherent unit. By integrating the structures into the park, the majority of the park and old tree structure could be preserved. The park became reorganized as the connecting link between the bridge, the school and the inner city. A forgotten piece of land has been transformed into a new place full of public life.
The bridge rises up 7 meters, making it possible to fit the school underneath the bridge-construction. Because the bridge continues on top of the school’s roof ensuring that every side of the school-building is surrounded by light and space. A wide loop lifts the biker or pedestrian from the park entrance around the park and up on top of the school to the bridge. From there the journey continues through the treetops to a panoramic view. The shape of the building creates a safe and enclosed playground for the children and closes off the park from the canal. In this way the school and the schoolyard are clearly oriented towards the park. A minimum of space transformed into a multifunctional space with a maximum of facilities.
On the north fringe of the city of Rotterdam lie two monumental estates: The Tempel and Nieuw Rhodenrijs. The estates are undergoing renovations and will soon be redeveloped into a living environment for elderly people in need of care amid a publicly accessible recreation area. Bureau B+B drew up the development vision and landscape design.
The purpose of the transformation is to develop the two historic estates into a beautiful outdoor area where a living environment for elderly naturally goes hand in hand with recreation. In the design, the experience of the different historical periods have been enhanced by restoring iconic elements typical for that era. New, contemporary elements were added to create new connections and facilities at places where they were historically not present. A modern corten steel boardwalk now connects the two estates.
On the river Schie, a new jetty with terrace was realized for recreational boating on the river. About fifty residential units will be built on the care estate. The site will be divided into different domains, which vary in atmosphere, following the original garden rooms of the estates. The buildings have a direct relationship with the garden, so residents are invited to go outside every day and experience nature.
Hardly any project has divided the inhabitants of the Austrian city of Vienna as much as the redevelopment of their beloved shopping street Mariahilferstrasse. In the middle of the last century the elegant boulevard was transformed into a pulsating arterial road, with little thought for pedestrians.
At the beginning of 2013 the city of Vienna organized a tender in two phases. The aim was to transform the polluted and noisy inner Mariahilfer Straße into a traffic restricted zone. The main goal is to provide a greater quality of life for residents, visitors, local businesses and shops.
In the design, the 1.6km long street is divided into two zones. The core zone has been reconfigured into a true pedestrian zone, the two other areas are designed along shared space principles. This transformation took place in dialogue with the future users. The design proposed a uniform ground level. Orientation is provided by two lines of kerbstones forming a red thread through the design. An asymmetrical street profile generates the spaces where they are desired. City lounge areas with so-called ‘dialogue furniture’ offer places for meeting and interaction. An elegant, timeless and pedestrian friendly avenue forms a unity between historical facades, ground and urban elements. The new attractive common spaces invite young and old to observe, stroll and pause all year round.
The NIKE EMEA headquarters campus, located in the heart of the Arena business park in Hilversum, is being transformed into a work and experience campus for NIKE athletes (employees) and visitors alike. The public space plays a crucial role in this. Inspired by the rich nature of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, the campus is being developed into a landscape campus full of sports and leisure activities. From 2020 onwards, Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture is working on the transformation of the NIKE EMEA campus.
Homecourt is the first square that was completed as part of the new campus. The location originally was a bare and vacant lot in the campus that was characterized by the many backs of buildings and unclear routing. The design for Homecourt focuses on creating a new destination on campus with ‘food’ and ‘skate’ as the main activities. Homecourt thus forms the link between east and west campus.
The square is designed as a ‘forest on the heather’- visible from afar, sheltered and pleasant form the inside. It contains a dedicated skate area, designed by F31, with the Aalto wave being the main eye-catcher. All objects and materials on the square are designed in such a way that they can be skated optimally. The colour and pebbles of the large tiles give a sandy look to the square, matching the geology of the area. More than 90 new trees have been planted in various types, sizes and forms, planted close together so that they can grow as groups.
The Lekkanaal serves as the most important inland shipping route in the Netherlands. In order to allow the ever-growing state of the art ships to use this route, the Princes Beatrix Lock has been enlarged with a third lock chamber. Consequently, the Lek canal needed to be widened. The lock and the canal both have great historical value, and therefore needed to be managed with care. Bureau B+B defined the preconditions and concept for the landscape integration.
The widening of the canal involves the relocation of the Eastern dike. Within this dike, bunkers of the nineteenth-century military defense line and a state monument, the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie, lay hidden in the landform. This military defense line consisted of a series of bunkers, hiding places and fortresses spanning from North to South throughout the entire country. Removing these bunkers would have destroyed the continuity of the defense line and therefore set a precedent. To simply relocate these objects would be considered the falsification of history. Therefore, the objects must be set aside in a manner that clearly illustrates that they have been moved. They were carefully moved, twisted and turned. By taking these measures, the widening of the canal becomes a legible part of the landscape’s history. The casemates linger as ‘Objets Trouvés’ along the canal, creating a museum landscape of the recent history.