About Us

Our work strives to enhance our sense of surroundings, identity and relationship to others and the physical spaces we inhabit, whether feral or human-made.

Selected Awards
  • 2004 — Aga Khan Award for Architecture
  • 2009 — Mies van der Rohe Award
  • 2013 — AIA/ALA Library Building Award
  • 2015 — Best Interior, Designers Saturday
  • 2016 — AIA New York Honor Award

Europe and its two houses

The European Parliament is situated in the center of the European Quarter in Brussels. Adjacent to the main entrance are several steel framed EU office buildings clad in aluminum and glass. On a rainy day, this will look depressing for sure. But today, the sun reflects in the glass facade and leaves beautiful shadows on the boulevard, which runs from the north to the south. On the other side of the parliament building, a beautiful park, Parc Leopold, is situated. There is a small lake with century old trees around it. When we look towards the west, we see more trees and the oval shaped glass and steel structure of the European Parliament. This building majestically rises from its surroundings. Whether you like the architecture style of the parliament or not (I happen not to like it), you can see the grandeur-ish style architects had in mind. Let’s go on. Just in front of this side of the parliament, we see two smaller buildings. They look like houses. And they look not so well-maintained either. In fact they are not so well-maintained houses…



Yep. To my surprise, two almost neglected houses are located several meters (!) away from the European Parliament. Must be a joke right? These houses must be old and architecturally unique, used for expositions or anything else except being used by actual families?


These houses are not so old, not so well maintained and still used as family houses today. My question is: Why spend hundreds of millions of euros building the European Parliament without buying out these two families… Or are these two family houses symbol for Europe as we know it today? Europe: A want-to-be worldwide power which just isn’t…

Note: I snapped this picture last year (May 2010) during my first visit to Brussels, Belgium. At that time, I just couldn’t believe what you now see on this picture (above). Last week I was reminded of this picture again because of my second visit to Brussels.

Written by: Benjamin Feenstra