Mels Crouwel

Architect / The Netherlands / Benthem Crouwel Architects

Mels Crouwel received his Master of Architecture degree from Delft University of Technology in 1978 and the following year, with Jan Benthem, founded Benthem Crouwel Architects in Amsterdam. The two founding directors and their partners—Marcel Blom, Joost Vos, Marten Wassmann, and Markus Sporer—today maintain an international practice with 70 employees located in offices in Amsterdam and Aachen (Germany).

With a personal passion for the arts and a commitment to functionality, sustainability, and innovative design solutions, Mels Crouwel has worked on many internationally renowned museums, public buildings, and cultural platforms. Among his notable projects, in addition to the renovation and expansion of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, are the restoration and expansion of the Anne Frank House (Amsterdam, 1999); the adaptive reuse of the former Thomas de Beer textile mill in Tilburg as the De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art (1992–2003); Las Palmas cultural and commercial center (Rotterdam, 2008); the award-winning Deutsches Bergbau Museum (Bochum, 2009); the Ziggo Dome (2012), a new 17,000-seat concert venue in Amsterdam’s Arena Boulevard; and the Kulturbau and Forum Mittelrhein in Koblenz (2013), a project that redevelops the city’s Central Square.

In 1986, Benthem Crouwel became master architect for Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, in collaboration with NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants). Benthem Crouwel designed and has implemented the Airport City master plan for the terminals, facilities, roads, offices, and hotels, emphasizing clarity of organization throughout the huge project. In 1989, Mels Crouwel became the supervising architect for Amsterdam RAI, the largest trade and convention center in the Netherlands, Over the past 20 years he has designed numerous plans, renovations, and urban schemes for the complex, which welcomes almost 2 million visitors a year. From 2004 until 2008, Mels Crouwel held the position of Chief Government Architect in the Netherlands, charged with stimulating architectural excellence both in government buildings and more generally throughout the nation. Among its major current public projects, Benthem Crouwel is architect for the construction of the North/South subway line in Amsterdam, scheduled for completion in 2017.

Benthem Crouwel has received numerous prizes for its work, including the prestigious BNA Kubus in 1999, awarded by the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects, as well as the Kunstpreis Berlin (1989) and Constructa Berlin (1990). The firm is frequently successful in national and international design and innovation competitions, including the Benelux Aluminum Prize and the Dutch National Prizes for Concrete Structures and Steel Structures. Benthem Crouwel’s commitment to sustainability has been recognized in projects including Etrium (the headquarters of Econcern in Cologne, 2007–08), which received the highest ranking in Certified Sustainability from the German Green Building Council (DGNB), comparable to LEED Platinum status in the United States.

Mels Crouwel is a member of the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects and an honorary member of the Association of German Architects. He lectures frequently in cities in the Netherlands and abroad, including Berlin, Bochum, Chicago, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Hamburg, Jerusalem, Leuven, London, Munich, New York, Seattle, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Toronto, and Vienna.

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