Marc is presenting a keynote address on the principles of Open Building and the legacy of N.John Habraken at the World Architecture Festival. 

We are excited to announce that Marc is presenting a keynote address at the Open Building Summitt at the World Architecture Festival on the 4th of December. He will be presenting his research on Open Buildings and how they contribute to a more resilient and sustainable built environment. 

The Open Building summit is initiated by an emerging group of Dutch architects who are devoted to radically changing the building industry and built environment to enable a healthy and sustainable way of livingOur Open Building approach aims to extend the lifespan of buildings using infill systems and materials designed for disassembly. Uses can be altered, small units can be combined into larger ones and layouts can be constantly reviewed to optimises occupancy levels and reduces the cost of maintenance and renovation in the long run. Open Buildings are designed to be “climate positive”, with circular ( renewable or recycled) building materials and technical facilities that prevent the waste of natural resources. It is a dynamic building model that creates an open and diverse city resilient to social and climate changes. 

We create flexible (open) building systems and open development models, allowing users to co-create their environment. This forms a strong sense of ownership and belonging and allows buildings to accommodate the social and economic complexity of our time. In an Open Building framework, the permanent structure is separated from the (temporary) infill. In order to facilitate a circular way of building, infill elements are designed for disassembly. They can be continually readapted and reinvented to suit changing needs and lifestyles. Architects design timeless buildings as if they were infrastructure for others (developers, home-owners and users) to inhabit and co-produce their own environment. Architects design timeless buildings as if they were infrastructure for others (developers, home-owners and users) to inhabit and co-create their own environment.

These ideas are not new, but built on the legacy of Professor N. John Habraken, who in the 60s promoted Open Building as a social, architectural and technological solution for buildings to be able to withstand future changes. By initiating the John Habraken Foundation, we aim to safeguard his legacy and archive and create a knowledge platform and organise events to connect professionals and academics who share our mission. On 4 December 2019, at the WAF Open Building Summit in Amsterdam, we would like to share our knowledge and research through a series of residential projects that adopt sustainable, Open Building principles.

The current climate and housing crises demands a drastic change in thinking about architecture and the way we design and construct cities. We are committed to publishing a manifesto and sharing our research at the WAF Open Building Summit and online at As well as joining us at the WAF Open Building Summit, you can follow an Open Building Audio tour of the OB Building sites through Amsterdam, which we will be launching on the 4th of December. We will also be publishing the Open Building Guide, featuring projects by the initiators of Open Building NL, in late 2020.

Marc was also recently appointed as architect-in-residence at the Architecture Centre of Amsterdam, where he is offering advice to the city of Amsterdam, by trying to encourage the municipality to adopt Open Building principles. Last week at the Tolhuistuin, Marc kicked off his ARCAM architect-in-residency with a robust open building discussion. The evening included a panel of designers, developers and policymakers interested in the way we develop and build flexible and sustainable buildings. 

To read more about the principles of Open Building and the legacy of N.John Habraken, visit the Open Building NL website.