Francine Houben, Architect/Urbanist

"Architecture must appeal to all the senses. Architecture is never a purely intellectual, conceptual, or visual game alone. Architecture is about combining all the individual elements into a single concept. What counts in the end is the arrangement of form and emotion."

Francine Houben (b. 1955) began to formulate the three fundamental concepts of her architectural vision whilst studying at the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Designing primarily for People, constructing spaces that are relevant to Place, and forging connections that give a building Purpose have remained consistent, underlying values to Mecanoo’s practice over the past three decades.

Always seeking inspiration in the details of specific sites and locations, Francine bases her work on precise analysis coupled with an intuition built over three decades. She interweaves social, technical, playful and human aspects of space-making together in order to create a unique solution to each architectural challenge.

Francine combines the disciplines of architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture in an untraditional way, with a profound sensitivity for light and beauty. Her use of materials, which often contrast in a complementary way, are the sum total of her creative expression.

People, Place, Purpose

People Place Purpose describes the specific architecture that Mecanoo explores, illustrating the way they seek for identity in a globalised world. From the texture of a local stone, to colours of a fruit tree or rituals of inhabitants, Mecanoo is driven to design buildings with strength to earth. A total of seventeen projects, all built in mutually different conditions, show the world according to Mecanoo.

Language: English
Publisher: Artifice, London 2015. 
ISBN 978-1-908967-61-9

Dutch Mountains

Dutch Mountains is more than a book about architecture.

It's about the unparalleled success of the still idealistically motivated architects, Delft-based architects, Mecanoo. Journalist Jan Tromp and photographer Harry Cock capture the world of Francine Houben in eight special projects in five different countries.

Language: English/Dutch/Chinese
Publisher: Uitgeverij de Kunst
ISBN 9789491196003

Mecanoo Architecten

In the spring of 2008 the latest monograph about Mecanoo was published.
The book demonstrates through word and image a cross section of Mecanoo architecten's broad oeuvre.
Mecanoo's projects show a passion for landscapes, a pleasure in technology and an undogmatic approach of each assignment.

Language: English/Dutch. 
Publisher: The Images Publishing Group, Australia. ISBN 9781864701425

Composition, Contrast, Complexity

In the book 'Composition, Contrast, Complexity'  Francine Houben presents a personal account of her experiences.
She has made a selection from her many Mecanoo projects for this publication.

Each of these projects is exemplary of her vision and illustrates the three core elements of how she conceives architecture: composition, contrast and complexity.

Language: Dutch
Publisher: Publ. Birkhaüser, Basel/Boston/Berlin 2001, 260 pages. 
ISBN 3-7643-6452-1

Mecanoo’s design signature can’t be found in shape but in attitude. An attitude focused on people. Not formal but informal. Not to some but to all.