Utrecht University announced that Francine Houben will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate on March 29 during the 380th Dies Natalis, the University’s Anniversary Day celebration.
She was nominated by Maarten Hajer, Professor of Urban Futures at Utrecht University and this year's curator of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR). In 2003, Francine Houben herself was the curator of the first edition of IABR.
According to Maarten Hajer, the work of Francine Houben and Mecanoo makes an important contribution to "a well-functioning urbanity". "Her work centres on people, but moreover it is about social interaction. She creates buildings that bring out the best in people. It is no coincidence that she has been commissioned to build or renovate libraries in recent years. After all, these are traditionally the epicentres of the public domain, while at the same time they are having to reinvent their purpose for our digital age. "
Honorary Doctorates are the University's way of expressing its appreciation for individuals and their work. Conductor and composer Jordi Savall, social scientist Robert J. Sampsom, and climate researcher Sybil Seitzinger will receive Honorary Doctorates.