For the love of progress

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Viosn text - RUG Feringa

Everything we do at Ector Hoogstad Architecten is driven by our desire for progress. The firm’s roots go all the way back to the post-war reconstruction of Rotterdam, and the spirit of that period shaped our no-nonsense approach to work and our preference for rational, practical solutions. Just as it did our love for the poetry of clarity, space, transparency and beautiful materials. It also led us to be optimists with a firm belief in progress, and this we shall forever remain.

Answering today's most urgent questions 
It is through the above lens that we observe the challenges facing the world today. How do we limit climate change and learn to live with its already unavoidable consequences? What does the circular economy mean for our future daily lives? How do we seize the previously undreamt of opportunities of digitalization and escape its darker aspects? The development and sharing of knowledge is essential to our collective efforts to answer these pressing questions, for knowledge is the key to progress.

Architecture for the knowledge economy
This conviction imbues our dedication to designing architecture in the service of the knowledge economy, both in the Netherlands and abroad. The communities served vary from primary schools to universities and from scientific research institutes to major industrial parks for innovation and advanced technology. For each of these distinct communities, we create visually appealing, functionally specific environments that allow the talent within them to flourish. Our buildings provide ideal conditions for coming together to collaborate and spark off each other’s creative energy. This is architecture in its essential role as catalyst and source of inspiration.

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Utrecht canopy Petra Appelhof
As an architect, I am both an optimist and an idealist. I seek to build a more beautiful and better world because I firmly believe that it can be done. And it is with this conviction that our team approaches every project and collaboration.
Joost Ector, partner Ector Hoogstad Architects
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Vision - Imd  -Petra Appelhof

Spaces for creating the future
These architectural qualities are palpable in every aspect of the building we designed for SRON, where fundamental research about the universe and our planet is conducted in perfectly realized state-of-the-art laboratories. As well as in the world’s largest bicycle parking garage, our design setting new standards for infrastructural support of environmentally friendly mobility. And again in Matrix VII, the science incubator in which ARCNL conducts research that powers the technology behind ASML’s computer chips. For the Hyperion Lyceum, we created a highly distinctive building that helps students develop into curious and empathetic global citizens. And we designed the science complex for the University of Groningen in which Nobel Prize laureate Ben Feringa will soon be conducting his pioneering research into nanomotors.

Pushing the boundaries of our craft
We are constantly pushing the envelope ourselves as well, striving to excel by leading the way in designing functional, user-friendly and healthy environments. Each project is therefore an opportunity for us to develop new digital design methods, advanced construction technologies and innovative concepts of circular design for more efficient use of energy and materials. But even so, a good building, in our view, is more than a well-oiled machine. Architecture is an applied art that also employs the power of beauty and expression to improve the quality of life of those we design for. And in this regard, we hold dear the traditions of our profession while at the same time fueling our creativity by tapping into what’s new and exciting in culture, society, politics and science.

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Matrix VII 4 - Bart van Hoek
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Vision text- Koningsberger - Petra Appelhof

Design is about pushing each other to greater heights
Establishing and maintaining dialogue with future users, clients and design partners is central to the way we work. We approach the design process as an open innovation system in which methodologies such as living labs and customer journey mapping form an integral part. We also challenge our clients to critically examine and optimize their own processes. Finally, we ensure that everyone’s input is channelled into a synergetic design. Do things sometimes get complicated? Of course they do, but that only strengthens our determination.

Serving progress since 1959
The practice was founded in 1959 by Jan Hoogstad, who learned the craft in the wake of the Second World War from greats such as Maaskant and Van Tijen. The current partners are Joost Ector, Koen Klijn, Gijs Weijnen and Chris Arts. They lead an international team of architects, sustainability experts, building engineers and process managers. The team has all the knowledge and experience required to execute projects of any sort from start to finish. We can do this for standard assignments, but are also happy to fit within other arrangements, including those employing EHA as the “total” engineer, whereby we assume all consultancy responsibilities for your project.

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Metaforum - Petra Appelhof