Dutch postmodernism and the New Institute. Het Nieuwe by Jo Coenen

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Project team
Jo Coenen. Geert Coenen. M. van der Hulst.
Netherlands Architecture Institute NAI.
Competition.- 1988. Completion.- 1993. Renovation.- 2010-2011.
Museumpark 25, 3015 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Ramiro Isaurralde. Johannes Schwartz. Petra van der Ree. Jannes Linders. Bert Muller. NAI Collection Database - Het Nieuwe Instituut

Jo Coenen

Jo Coenen (Heerlen 1949) graduated in architecture & urban planning from the department of architecture of Eindhoven University of Technology in 1975. Following his studies, he worked until 1979 as a research assistant at the same university and established important professional relationships Europe-wide with Prof O.M. Ungers in Cologne, Prof Rob Krier in Vienna, Prof Luigi Snozzi who was then a professor at the EPFL Lausanne, and Prof James Stirling at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, among others. In 1979, before starting his own practice in Eindhoven in 1980, he worked on the new building of the Faculty of Letters in Amsterdam under Prof Aldo van Eyck and the architect Theo Bosch. After 10 years, he moved his operation to Maastricht to work on the Céramique master plan. After another 10 years, he opened a branch in Berlin to design the residence of the Dutch ambassador and to work on the Gendarmenmarkt project. This was followed other studios in Luxembourg (2002), Amsterdam (2002), Milan (2007) and finally Bern (2012).

Since the start of his academic career, Coenen has taught at various national and international colleges and universities (Aken, Karlsruhe, Lausanne, Milan and Delft ) In 1987, he was appointed Ordentlicher Professor Gebaüdelehre und Entwerfen at Karlsruhe University of Technology, of which he has been an honorary professor since 1995. In 2001, in the Netherlands, he was appointed professor of Public Building in the department of architecture at Delft University of Technology. As part of his job, and based on his experience as Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands, in 2006 he established the MIT ® Research Center for Modification, Intervention and Transformation at the same university, in which Coenen assigned great significance to 'the art of interweaving' past and present and also put the emphasis on design. Since 2009, he has held the professorship of Architecture & Transformation at Maastricht University.

Coenen has been frequently invited to exhibit his work at various Biennials and Triennials such as the Venice Biennial (1980), the Milan Triennial (1995) and the São Paulo Biennial (1997). In addition, he has taken part in many international workshops, symposia and congresses. For example, he was invited to lecture at the RIBA in London (The concepts for the living city), at the Getty Center Santa Monica (Building in old context) and to the Collegio Official de Arquitectos de la Comunidad in Valencia (Experiencias en edificios publicos). Coenen has sat on various national and international juries, including that of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in Sydney. He was recently on the jury of the Neubau der Zentral und Landesbibliothek Berlin (2014).

He has won various awards and prestigious prizes for architecture, including the Dutch BNA-Kubus for his entire oeuvre (1995) , the Dutch Building Award for the 'Glaspaleis' (Glass Palace) in Heerlen (2005 in collaboration with W. Arets), the BNA 'Best Building of the Year Award' for his Vesteda Tower in Eindhoven (2007), the 'International Architecture Award' for the Public Library in Amsterdam (2008), the 'WAN Civic Building of the Year' prize for the Public Library in Amsterdam (2009), the 'International Architecture Award' for the Mosae Forum project in Maastricht (2010) and an award for participation and planning for the IBA Hamburg (2013).

Influenced and inspired by his contacts in Central and Southern Europe, he has designed many architectural and urban development projects, of which the NAi in Rotterdam, the master plan and library for the Céramique Centre in Maastricht and the KNSM island in Amsterdam are the best known.



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