DUS architects was founded by Msc Arch. Hans Vermeulen (1977), Msc Arch. Martine de Wit (1977) and Msc Arch. Hedwig Heinsman (1980) in 2004. The office builds ‘Public Architecture’: Design that consciously influences our daily life. This social significance shows at all levels of DUS’ work, ranging from large urban strategies to outdoor breakfast designs. DUS sees architecture as a craftsmanship and combines research and design with a ‘hands on’ approach and unique use of materials.
DUS currently works on a variety of projects that range from art installation, product- and event design to architecture, planning and long-term urban transformation trajectories. The office is based in Amsterdam and is run by the three partners together with a varying team of employees and freelancers. By practicing their credo ‘DESIGN by DOING’ DUS establishes a dialogue with the community, which results in valuable input for the design process, and brings developer, (future) inhabitants and municipality around one table. In this manner, DUS currently leads big urban projects; such as the design and transformation of 150 communal dwell units in Nieuwegein and in their role as supervisors of the transformation of 2000 homes in Almere Haven. In 2006 this approach, dubbed ‘DUS-method’, was awarded the RMNO-price by VROM (the Dutch advisory council for research on spatial planning, nature and the environment).
The three partners are frequently invited to lecture and have been guest teachers at various institutions, such as Delft Technical University, Academy of Bouwkunst Amsterdam and the Rietveld Academy. The work of DUS architects has been exhibited and published throughout the world. The DUS Gecekondu ‘China Bag Hotel’ was dubbed ‘best architecture project of the year 2009’ by Dutch national newspaper NRC. Their Bucky Bar was listed for the esteemed Mies van der Rohe Award 2011. Recently the office won the prestigious Amsterdam Awards for the Arts 2011: “The jury sees DUS architects as frontrunners for a new generation of architects: ambitious, socially committed, artistic and internationally oriented. Their work is continuously a combination of art, architecture, design and social engagement.” DUS is also founding partner of the OPEN COOP ‘a cooperative model for the knowledge based industries’ and DO-tank that actively solves societal problems.
Their most recent project, the 3D Print Canal House, is an exhibition, research- and building site for 3D Printing Architecture, where an international team of partners collaborates in ‘research & doing’ linking science, design, construction and community, by 3D printing a canal house at an expo-site in the very heart of Amsterdam. The 3D Print Canal House was presented to U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dutch prime minister by the Mayor of Amsterdam in March 2014.
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