2015 turned out to be a very special year for Mecanoo. With only a few more December days ahead, we look back at some of the defining moments.
In February, arriving in Delft by train became an unforgettable experience when the new Delft Station hall opened. Across the pond, a different kind of opening occurred in March with the expansion of the Manchester office into new, more spacious premises. In the same month, London-based Peabody announced the selection of Mecanoo and Proctor and Matthews Architects for the regeneration of Thamesmead.
Two more openings happened at the end of April: Mayor Martin Walsh opened our first US project, the much-acclaimed Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Boston and King Willem Alexander opened the monumental cultural heritage museum Hof van Nederland in Dordrecht. Less than a month later, Manchester’s newest art centre HOME celebrated their opening with a five-day cultural festival, welcoming over 10,000 visitors.
Mecanoo continued to be a front-runner on sustainability with the BREEAM-NL Outstanding certification of the Life Sciences Incubator in Utrecht. Also in the Netherlands, Mecanoo designed the Keith Haring exhibition at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and completed the renovation of the iPabo school in Amsterdam. Both the Zaans Medical Centre and IDcollege celebrated their topping out in autumn.
Early September, Mecanoo celebrated the office’s 30th anniversary, opening up the Mecanoo HQ Campus to a diverse crowd of clients, business partners, special guests, friends, family and former colleagues.
The year’s biggest announcement was the news that Mecanoo will lead the renovation of New York Public Library. The $300 million project includes the complete renovation and updating of the Mid-Manhattan Library, and the creation of increased public space at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street/Fifth Avenue.
The Library of Birmingham kept winning multiple awards in 2016, as did the Bruce C. Bolling building. The most prestigious prize was the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prize for lifetime achievement awarded to Francine Houben by Queen Máxima on November 30, in Amsterdam. With the prize money, Francine Houben created the Eye Opener Fund: a patronage to support innovative, creative projects that aim to stimulate the cultural, economic and social importance of libraries.
At the award ceremony, Francine Houben also presented the new monograph: People, Place, Purpose. The lavishly illustrated 400-page book describes the specific architecture of Mecanoo, illustrating the way they seek for identity in a global world.
Finally, the iconic Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol opened its door to guests in December, adding an impressive landmark to the national airport.
We look forward to great collaborations, beautiful designs and exciting new projects in 2016.
Merry Christmas & happy new year to all!