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Joris de Leeuw l Architect | About

About

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How it started

Born on the 13th of April in the year 1981 in Amsterdam, I was raised in a small village just outside the city in the beautiful, lush and green Dutch countryside. After a careless childhood I attended the oldest gymnasium of Amsterdam, the renown barleaus gymnasium, which formed me into the person I am today and were I met my lifelong group of best friends. In that same period I started to pickup a sense and interest for the taxonomy of space. Every month or so I picked up a pencil, drew out the measurements of my small attic room and all the furniture in it, and thought up a whole new configuration. This was the beginning of my work as an designer.

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Development & Education

After highschool graduation and a amazing year of traveling abroad in between, in the year 2000 I started the bachelor of architecture at the Technical University of Delft in the now burned down faculty of Architecture . A dynamic student life in Delft, Amsterdam and Barcelona (Erasmus exchange) followed in which i developed the basis skills of an architect and the thorough analytic accuracy and vigor of the Dutch engineer. During my training at the TU Delft I worked on several projects in a broad spectrum, from which a small selection is represented on this site (link).

Due to an unfortunate snowboarding accident and a unexplainable heart ritmic failure (which later turned out to be completely harmless) I spent quite a bit of time in one French, one Spanish and a few Dutch hospitals in the years 2004 and 2005. I was amazed by the state of the architecture, especially that of the Dutch ‘curing factories’. This led me to the believe that there must be something better and the calling that I had to do something about it in my professional life. I started reading and soon found out about the concept of healing environment. This by then relatively unknown concept in the Netherlands turned out to be a vast scientific field and determined to learn as much as possible about it a subscribed for a minor in environmental psychology at the university of Amsterdam.

At the TU Delft I was one of the first students to renew the interest for the architecture of hospitals. There were no classes on healthcare and the given graduation labs focussed on other subjects so I had to find my own way. I sought out one of the few professors with knowledge of the field (the renown historian Cor Wagenaar, who wrote several comprehensive volumes on the development of healthcare architecture), and subscribed for the experimental Explore Lab graduation lab in which students were allowed to choose their own subject. What followed was an extensive research into the Healing Environment and a graduation design for a Diabetes Clinic in Rotterdam. The project was finishes in 2007 and awarded with an average 8,5/10, a cum laude Master of Science graduation and an invitation for the Archiprix.

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Early professional life

During my last year at the TU Delft, through my mentors and professors, I participated in another research project; Het Decentrale Ziekenhuis, a cooperation between the faculty and two commercial companies, De Nijl Architecten en CEANconsulting. The participating partner of CEANconsulting (Colette Niemeijer) soon thereafter offered me a job at the just founded consulting firm which specialized in the field of healthcare (care and cure). Eager to learn more about the full spectrum behind the development of new healthcare conceptes and buildings I said yes.

In 5 years at CEANconsulting I learned a great deal, not only about the building process and the many different aspects of healthcare (care and cure), but also on subjects as corporate finance, building a business case, proces design, project- and program management, communicatie strategy, and selection and tender processes. I worked on amazing and challenging projects and was given the opportunity, as the first employee and later member of het management team, to participate in the forming and strategy of the young company. Here can be found a further description and selection of the projects I worked on at CEANconsulting.

During my full-time job as a consultant at CEANconsulting between 2007-2012 I aimed to continually maintain my skills and develop myself as a designer and I worked on several small design projects in my own time. The scale of these projects and the 1-on-1 consultation with end-users offered a pleasant change of pursuits and gave great satisfaction.

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Back to the drawing board

In 2012 I started to feel that, although the work as a consultant brought me many new insights and knowledge, it lacked the creative exploration I had experienced in my years at university. Determined to experience again the bustling and multifaceted workfloor of the architecture firm I set out to make a comeback in the worst of times. The crisis was still in full effect and the complete Dutch building industry was on the ground.

In that time my main project at CEANconsulting was the development of new type of hospital in the Netherlands, the RTIC for the Medical Centre Alkmaar. Working closely with the board of directors of the hospital , I had organized and guided the selection proces for an integral design team in 2010. This competition was won by architectenbureau cepezed, and for the next year I worked with them on the initial stages of the design, as the designated Projectmanager and representant for the hospital. This brought me in close contact with the firm and gave me the opportunity to apply for a position when there was an opening.

In 2012 I left CEANconsulting to start a new challenge and work once again as an architect at cepezed. I have further broadened my knowledge and experience and worked on several varied projects such as a training centre for the Dutch customs, a commercial office building, an industrial building and the renovation of the Durch ministries for healthcare, welfare, sports and social affairs. As a project architect at cepezed I have been responsible for client communication and management, leading integral design teams with multiple participants and managing the project preconditions on content, financial and process levels.

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All in all it has been a interesting and challenging road to we’re I’am now. I have worked on several very complex projects with great results and I’am proud of what has been accomplished. Due to the scale of most of these projects so far not much has been actually build but the years to come will see a change to that and I will keep my portfolio updated with the latest developments. I’m sure you will find interesting things on the rest of the site so It only leaves me to encourage you to take a further peek and wish you lots of fun with exploring!