Ben van der Meer appointed city architect of Groningen.
The municipality of Groningen has appointed a duo as city architects: Ben van der Meer and Michiel van Driessche.
The municipality announced the successors of city architect Nathalie de Vries (MVRDV). Groningen architect Ben van der Meer (47) and Belgian landscape architect Michiel van Driessche (37) will take over from de Vries on the 1st of February. Both Ben and Michiel have extensive experience in projects and spatial planning in the municipality of Groningen, combining this with a future-oriented vision on the challenges, tasks, and transitions in the city and its surroundings. They are available together for three days a week to shape the city’s spatial quality, work on the new environmental vision, and motivate and address new themes in sustainable urban development.
The municipality of Groningen is the largest city in the Netherlands that traditionally appoints its own independent city architect as the first advisor. The role involves both solicited and unsolicited advice on spatial quality and planning. Van der Meer and Van Driessche not only combine different knowledge and expertise from their work field but also merge Ben’s local roots with Michiel’s (inter)national working field.
Ben van der Meer is an architect and founder of vector-i, living and working in Groningen. He graduated as an architect at the Groningen Academy of Architecture and has worked on projects, including Vapiano, public elementary school Driebond, and residences on Vossenburglaan in Meerstad. Ben is currently working with his firm on Holt in Corpus den Hoorn and Vief Kwartier in Europapark, Groningen, with a strong focus on sustainability.
Michiel Van Driessche was born in Ghent and currently resides in Rotterdam. He graduated as a landscape architect at the School of Arts in Ghent and the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. He is the founding partner of Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners, focusing on environmental climate challenges. Michiel is actively operating nationally and internationally, with projects in, among others, Almere, Leuven, Cartagena, and Reykjavik. He knows Groningen very well, serving as a co-author of the design guideline ‘New Space’ and as a landscape architect of the Healthy Ageing Campus Groningen and Campus Eemsdelta in Appingedam.
Foto Van Driessche: Chiara Catalini