Francine Houben founded Mecanoo in 1984. She has since led the firm to success in The Netherlands and abroad, amassing a portfolio of work that is wide-ranging, inspired by global challenges and with a sustainable view on society.
Mecanoo combines the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture and interior design to produce unorthodox design solutions born from a strong sensitivity to context and a highly interdisciplinary design process. Each of her projects illustrates the four fundamental elements of her architectural vision: People, Place, Purpose, Poetry.
Francine Houben was professor of mobility aesthetics at Delft University of Technology and taught at the universities of Harvard, Yale and Mendrisio. As curator of the First International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (2003), she brought the theme of the aesthetics of mobility to the forefront of international design consciousness.
Francine holds Honorary Fellowships of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and was granted lifelong membership to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin as well as receiving the International Honorary Fellow Award by the Architecture Institute of Taiwan.
In 2014 Francine was named Woman Architect of the Year by the Architects’ Journal and in November 2015 Queen Máxima of The Netherlands presented her with the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prize for her wide-ranging career. Francine was awarded Honorary Doctorates from the Université de Mons, Belgium (2017) and the Utrecht University (2016).
In 2018 she received the BNA Kubus Award for her oeuvre; the International Prize, Prix des Femmes Architectes (2019) and distinguished with the TU Delft Alumnus of the Year (2020). In 2021 Francine has been awarded Architect of the Year by the Female Frontier Award by World Architecture News.