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“You need elements which have more meaning, more purpose than their functional determination.”

Adriaan Geuze is a founder and principal at West 8 an Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture firm. Geuze approaches urban design from a contextual frame of reference, focusing on both the urban fabric and the culture of the people in the area. This leads to projects that not only solve problems but are rich in cultural relevance. Based in a dockside office in Rotterdam, West 8 works on urban design projects in the Netherlands and worldwide.

Chapter 1

Designing great neighbourhoods involves balancing consistency and creativity in the collaborative world of urban design. The most functional features of a neighbourhood such as the footbridges in Borneo-Sporenburg can be designed to have cultural relevance in the communities that they serve.

Rotterdam Centraal Station’s Urban Fabric
Chapter 2

The area around the old Centraal Station was dangerous and commuters passed through as quickly as possible. West 8 improved the urban fabric that surrounded the previous station by carefully integrating the station into the context and creating quality public space.

Centraal Station’s Commuter Experience
Chapter 3

Train stations are traditionally designed with functionality and efficiency in mind. West 8 discarded the traditional brief of the train station and designed a station that considered the emotional experience of commuters who move through the station.

This interview was conducted by Chris Elawa, Kimberly Chan & Maryam H. Kashani.