Honorable mention eVolo Skyscraper Competition!

Last year a friend and I decided to participate in the 2011 eVolo Skyscraper Competition. The organizers of this international competition seek to discover young talent, whose ideas will change the way we understand architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.

We started brainstorming in September (2010). Last January the concept evolved in the actual design, The On Demand Experience. We worked against the clock in order to finish the design on time. And with a great result! Out of 715 entries, our entry was awarded an Honorable Mention!

Visit The On Demand Experience @ Porfolio / eVolo

So what’s the On Demand Experience?!

The starting points of our design are innovations like the smartphone, laptop or tablet computer and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Overall, the way people communicate, work and move has changed. But with this rapidly changing lifestyle and ever demanding environment, it is surprising to find that houses stayed pretty much the same. We believe, in order to get the most out of current technological developments, the direct living environment should change too.

The concept behind the ‘On Demand Experience’ is simple. Instead of going to different places, the facilities come to you. Simply request the desired space with your computer and the request will be processed by the warehouse connected to your building. Your space will arrive as an equipped ‘box’ that plugs into your apartment. Several boxes can dock in a single apartment at the same time and everything is available on demand. So whether the desire is to play golf, work out or have a lunch meeting, just let the warehouse know!

The ultimate mixed-use building

In our view, the On Demand Experience is the ultimate mixed-use building where apartments blend with different functions and services.

We presented the concept using a comic book. Three characters, Jeff, Truman and Sylvia, guide the reader through the On Demand Experience.

Benjamin as director

Being a director

Several years ago I became director at nearby mega church Bethel. As director I am responsible for supervising a camera crew of five people. I also have to maintain close contact with the producer, floor manager, multimedia and lighting-people during the rehearsal and service. During a service I’m in the control room backstage.

5 camera’s

We use five camera’s during a regular service. Recently we bought new Grass Valley camera’s.

Co-founder of Design Studio B&J

Several years ago I co-founded Design Studio B&J. The company is specialized in making professional presentation materials for realtors and real estate developers. One of our projects was broadcasted on Dutch National Television. The development of Design Studio B&J is a great learning experience and a big adventure.

Click here to visit the website of Design Studio B&J (available in Dutch only).

Here’s a selection of work we did.

NY 1

Internship @ Rietveld Architects in New York City

In 2008 I did a six-month internship at Rietveld Architects in New York City. Rietveld Architects is a company founded by Margaret and Rijk Rietveld. The New York office is located on a convenient 600 meters walk from Times Square.

I rented an apartment in Lower Manhattan, between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge. This resulted in a 30 minute travel from my apartment to the office, which I preferred to do by bike. During the course of my internship I biked on every avenue and almost every street of Manhattan.

Together with Rijk (leading architect) I worked on the many Dutch projects. These include City Hall The Hague, a conference hotel and an urban planning project.

Besides working at the architecture firm I experienced New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC. I’ve put together a selection of (random) photos I made during my stay in the Big Apple.

The Office

You guessed it! The red arrow points to the office of Rietveld Architects.

The Film Center Building. The office is on the top floor.

I’m in the middle-right of this photo (next to the window)

New York City

Free kayaking in the Hudson River. You can see the Statue of Liberty in the middle.

View from the Staten Island Ferry.

View from the Empire State Building.

View from the Empire State Building.

The office of Rietveld Architects was located on a mere 600 meters walk from Times Square.

Wall Street.

The shiny towers of the Time Warner Center.

One of my favorite skyscrapers in New York, the Hearst Tower.

The Brooklyn Bridge (can you see the waterfall?)

The world famous Guggenheim Museum

The Flatiron building during sunset.

View from the Brooklyn Boulevard.

Tribute in Light, an art installation of 88 searchlights placed next to the site of the World Trade Center to create two vertical columns of light in remembrance of the September 11 attacks.

Lady Liberty

I went to the US Open quarter finals.

View from Jazz @ Time Warner Center during the New York Marathon.

More sports. Basketball, the NY Knicks.

And even more sports. A rodeo in Madison Square Garden.

Ground Zero and the World Financial Center.

One out of many times I visited Central Park.

New York Water Taxi in front of the NY skyline.

Reenactment at Governors Island.

Admiral’s house at Governors Island.

The Queen Mary 2 viewed from Governors Island.

My view from the office of Rietveld Architects on Veteran’s Day 2008. President George W. Bush visited the Intrepid on this day (you can see Marine One, the President’s helicopter, on deck).

Election Day 2008.

Before going to Harlem, I spent some time at Rockefeller Center.

Afterwards I went to an Obama campaign office in Harlem, NY.

I was in Harlem (125th street, opposite of the Bill Clinton office) when Barack Obama was elected president. A very special moment.

Winter in Central Park.

Winter Garden at the World Financial Center.

Manhattan during sunset.


During my stay in New York City I visited several other cities, like Philadelphia and Boston.


Washington DC: The Inauguration of Barack Obama

During my internship Barack Obama and John McCain were all over the news. Since I’m really interested in American Politics, I consider myself lucky doing an internship in the US during the elections of 2008.

Wether Obama or McCain would win, I wanted to go to the nation’s capital for the Inauguration in January 2009. That’s why I booked my hostel prior to election day (in September). On a side note, this saved me lots of money, since I payed normal fees instead of the ridiculous fees hotels charged in and around Washington DC after Obama was elected. Obviously, I didn’t anticipate for such a historic election and Inauguration. Needless to say, I had a great time in DC.


Student exchange in Italy

Together with a friend, I went to Italy from October till December 2006. We were the first students from our school, the ROC Friese Poort, to be selected to attend classes at the Technical Institute ‘Alessio Tramello’. Also we did three short internships at several architectural and constructional companies in the afternoon.

Technical Institute ‘Alessio Tramello’

We attended classes at this institute every morning, five days a week from 8 AM – 1 PM. We studied subjects like Topography, Building construction, Plants, Drawing, Italian and English. We met a lot of people, learned a lot about the ‘Italian way of construction’ and had a great time at this institute.


We did three different internships. In the first 3 weeks during our visit, I went to the architectural company owned by mrs. Mitzi Bollani. Mitzi Bollani is the vice-president of an European expert group on accessibility and specializes in making buildings accessible to people with various handicaps. During this internship I performed a variety of duties including creating a 3D model of a large block of apartments, drawing various 2D and 3D models of buildings and drawing several pieces of furniture.

During the fourth week, we did an internship at ‘Edilstrade’. This is a large building construction company in the Piacenza region. This internship was less practical, but we learned a lot about Italian architecture, and visited an Italian university and a hotel.

The last internship lasted four weeks. Together with my classmate, I went to Cooperation Construction Val d’Arde (Firenzuola). This is a large architectural and construction company in the city of Firenzuola. During this internship, we spoke with the architects, discussed different aspects of construction with the firm’s employees and saw many construction sites in Piacenza, Firenzuola, Parma and other towns.

The experience

This was a great experience. I learned a lot about the Italian way of construction, the Italian school system and the Italian people. I saw many, many places and visited a lot of cities in the whole country. I visited Rome, Milan, Florence, Parma, Genua, Cremona, and of course Piacenza. Also, I went to the Alps and Rome.