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Modern Architecture in Africa by Antoni Folkers and Belinda van Buiten - Second edition book launch coming up in February 2019

6th December 2018

This revised second edition of the book offers unique insights into modern African architecture, influenced by modern European architecture, and at the same time a natural successor to existing site-specific and traditional architecture. It brings together the worlds of traditional site-specific architecture and the Modernist Project in Africa, which to date have only been considered in isolation.
The book covers the four architectural disciplines: urban planning, building technology, building physics, and conservation. It includes an introduction with a historical outline and an analysis and comparison of a number of projects in various countries in Africa. On the basis of examples drawn from practice, the authors document and describe the hybrid architectural forms that have emerged from the confrontation and fusion with (pre)modern Western architecture and urban planning, and in so doing they also narrate the history of African architecture.

'Create and Connect I to III' at the Exhibition 'CURIOSITY' had over 2380 visitors

15th November 2016


'Create and Connect I to III' by Belinda van Buiten is part of the exhibition CURIOSITY in the glass house of the Old Hortus of the University Museum of Utrecht in October 2016. The exhibition is an initiative of ‘Earth Utrecht’ platform for contemporary ceramic art and is a present for the University of Utrecht celebrating 380 years of existence (https://www.facebook.com/utrechtseaarde/).

'Create and Connect I to III' is an alternative to the portrait gallery in the University of Utrecht Akademie Building. The circular shape of each gallery refers to the double helix of DNA. The DNA of the university is the people: the students, their teachers and professors. Every 'brick' stands for one of the members of the university community and everybody is connected.

This connection is enhanced by light. Every single brick is enlighted and all bricks together are (literally) connected by electricity. The illuminated bricks refer to the logo of the university in which the text: Sol Iustitiae, Illustra Nos is incorporated. Every brick in porcelain has an imprint of this logo. The transparency of the porcelain together with the illumination intensify the visibility.

Photos: Han Ernest Photography




Natuurmonumenten Groot Speijck door FBW architecten in de Volkskrant op 21 juli 2015 - recensie Hilde de Haan


23rd July 2015

Natuurmonumenten Groot Speijck: een alzijdige Palladiaanse villa in een veelzijdig landschap.


FBW architecten heeft in opdracht van Natuurmonumenten een nieuw typologie bezoekerscentrum ontwikkeld, waarbij een totale integratie met horeca is gerealiseerd. Natuurmonumenten wil hiermee de beleving van de natuur in de Oisterwijkse Bossen en Vennen versterken.

Het nieuwe gebouw manifesteert zich als een alzijdige Palladiaanse villa in het veelzijdige en bijzondere landschap. Dit effect wordt versterkt door de nissen in de vier gevels en door de om het gehele gebouw rondlopende tekst van Jac P Thijsse.


Op advies van FBW architecten en TLU landschapsarchitecten is de parkeerplaats voor het gebouw verplaatst, waardoor voor het nieuwe Groot Speijck een magische open plek is ontstaan. De relatie tussen het vernieuwde gebouw en zijn omgeving is hersteld. Dit werkt ook door in het gebouw zelf waar de oorspronkelijke kern van Groot Speijck, als open plek in het gebouw, als markthal gekoppeld wordt aan al haar nieuwe functies.


De gevels hebben een gelaagde opbouw gekregen voorzien van een ‘gordijn’ aan klimplanten om naast transparantie ook te zorgen voor intimiteit. Het plafond van eikenhout uit de bossen van Natuurmonumenten verbindt (ook buiten) de verschillende ruimtes tot een nieuwe eenheid.


Natuurmonumenten Groot Speijck 10 juni 2015 feestelijk geopend! - nieuwe typologie bezoekerscentrum door FBW architecten

4th June 2015


Het voormalige bosrestaurant Groot Speijck is een begrip in Brabant.  Na jarenlange leegstand is het oude gebouw als een feniks herrezen. Groot Speijck is getransformeerd tot een transparant en duurzaam bezoekerscentrum van Natuurmonumenten in combinatie met horeca en kantoren.


Naast transparantie is er ook behoefte aan intimiteit, daarom hebben de nieuwe gevels een gelaagde opbouw gekregen voorzien van een ‘gordijn’ aan klimplanten.


Het is gelukt om de bestaande parkeerplaats te verplaatsen, waardoor tegenover het bezoekerscentrum een magische open plek is ontstaan. Hierdoor is de relatie tussen het vernieuwde gebouw en zijn omgeving hersteld.


Dit werkt ook door in het nieuwe gebouw zelf waar de centrale ontmoetingsruimte, de oorspronkelijke kern van Groot Speijck, als open plek in het gebouw, gekoppeld wordt aan al haar nieuwe functies. De balans is terug en door de integratie van het bezoekerscentrum met de horeca heeft Natuurmonumenten samen met FBW een nieuwe typologie bezoekerscentrum ontwikkeld.


Op 10 juni 2015 is het nieuwe bezoekerscentrum van Natuurmonumenten feestelijk geopend.


FBW architecten
Belinda van Buiten



Natuurmonumenten Groot Speijck is nearing completion foreseen februari 2015

9th November 2014

Together with FBW nature organisation (National Trust) Natuurmonumenten is developing an integrated visitor centre and restaurant inclusive offices for the forest rangers of the province of Brabant. The location in the forest known as ‘Groot Speijck’ is renowned in the south of the Netherlands. The original building as the heart of the complex will be rebuilt and transformed into an indoor plaza with new additions with all the new functions grouped around. With the total integration of restaurant and visitor centre Natuurmonumenten is developing a new typology of it’s kind. 

FBW New year celebration 30 January Poem Day 2014: presentation of the Villa Jongerius Poem to Jan van Zanen, mayor of Utrecht.

2nd February 2014
In the name of FBW Belinda offers the poem to Jan van Zanen.

With pride FBW celebrated the results of the restoration of the villa  Jongerius on 30 January 2014 ‘The Day of the Poets’ with a festive seminar in the villa. Especially for this day Ingmar Heytze, city poet of Utrecht, wrote and recited a poem in honour of the villa and it’s history.The poem was offered to Jan van Zanen, mayor of Utrecht as a token of gratitude for their support of the restoration of the villa and the Jongerius complex as a whole. Thereafter the poem was also offered to the grandchildren of Jan Jongerius. The festal program, with a presentation of Paul Morel (Stads herstel Amsterdam, the company for city restoration) on current themes related to the restoration of iconic buildings, was alternated with musical intermezzos by Nina Winkler (ballads), Harry Hardholt (guitar/ballads) and Peer Gröning (piano/ballads). The beautiful and touching performance of ‘Sag mir wo die Blumen sind’ (Marlene Dietrich) by Nina will long be remembered.

Final Design Natuurmonumenten Groot Speijck completed

3rd September 2013
Maquette Natuurmonumenten Groot Speijck

Together with FBW nature organisation (National Trust) Natuurmonumenten is developing an integrated visitor centre and restaurant inclusive offices for the forest rangers of the province of Brabant. The location in the forest known as ‘Groot Speijck’ is renowned in the south of the Netherlands. The original building as the heart of the complex will be rebuilt and transformed into an indoor plaza with new additions with all the new functions grouped around. With the total integration of restaurant and visitor centre Natuurmonumenten is developing a new typology of it’s kind. On August 27th the Final Design was approved and the building works is expected starting from February 2014 onward.

Huize Zanders at OEROL: CalEarth, Rijkswaterstaat and FBW

27th June 2013

The Dutch coast is increasing in popularity and people more and more want to stay overnight on the beach. How does this new trend relate to other important properties of the beach like coastal security, values of nature and overall appearance of our beloved beaches. Rijkswaterstaat explores possibilities to develop constructions on the beach that satisfy these conditions. The architects Rijnvos Voorwinde and FBW contribute to this project. A first testcase into alternative and innovative beach construction took place at the Oerol festival 1013: ‘Huize Zanders’, a Cal Earth, Rijkswaterstaat and FBW construction built up out of gunnybags filled with sand, shells and clay.

Mwalimu Nyerere National Heritage Site, Butiama, Tanzania

15th June 2013

FBW has been commissioned in 2013 to draft the Structure Plan for Butiama District Capital in Mara Region (Tanzania). Butiama will not only be the administrative hub of the area, but also Mwalimu Nyerere National Heritage Site, as the city is the birthplace and burial place of the Father of the Nation. Butiama aspires to become a cultural and educational centre of national importance, based on the principles of Self Reliance, Sustainability and Community as developed by Mwalimu Nyerere. The Sketch Structure Plan was completed in March 2013, and proposes a bi-polar city consisting of the original Butiama and Kiabakari cores, linked with the Butiama Spine Road as development axis on the slopes of the Mtuzu-Nyabireria Hills Central Park.

Villa Jongerius completed/Open Day 26 May 2013 12:00 - 16:00 hours

30th May 2013

After 30 months of restoration the villa Jongerius, an extraordinary State Monument, has been put into use for meetings and other gatherings and Jongerius Live concerts. It was a challenge to bring back the original delicate details, the generous roof overhangs and the unique atmosphere despite the change of function and the demands typical of present day regulations. The completion of the restoration is a first step of the restoration of the entire complex being the villa, the monumental office behind and the illustrious garden as connecting element. The Jongerius complex can be characterised as a mix of styles including the Modern Movement, Art Deco and Louis XV and probably designed by the entrepreneur himself.
Client: Jongerius Foundation. Exploitation: www.villajongerius.nl. This project is realised with subsidies by the European Union: EFRO, chances for the west. Province of Utecht: Pearl Foundation. City Council of Utrecht: Investment in urban renewal. Photos: Kees Rutten.

'Learning from Casablanca-Afrika as experimental garden' Architecture cafe Amersfoort on Monday evening 4 februari 2013.

21st January 2013

On Monday evening 4 February 2013 Antoni Folkers and Belinda van Buiten will be guestspeaker on behalf of African Architecture Matters (AAM) during the Architecture cafe Amersfoort organised by FASa/dE. During this evening African Architecture Matters and her projects will be met with a focus on the development of mass housing in Casablanca after WO II. Start: 20:00 hours. Location: ZEEP architects, Kleine Koppel 31, 3812 PG Amersfoort more information see: www.fasade.nl

HEER BOMMEL IN AFRICA: book launch by Antoni Folkers and Heinz Kimmerle in The Hague (27 January 2013) and Antwerp (26 February 2013)

9th January 2013

FBW architects would like invite you for the book launch Heer Bommel in Africa – religion and believe in the universe of the Dutch writer and illustrator Marten Toonder and in African animism, written by Antoni Folkers and Heinz Kimmerle. The presentation will take place on Sunday 27 January 2013 from 13:45 hours till tot 14:20 hours in the Literary Museum in The Hague as part of the closing manifestation of the Toonder Year. The Literary Musuem can be found at the Willem –Alexanderhof 5, The Hague. We hope to welcome you on Sunday 27 January in The Hague. See you then!

De restauaration of the Villa Jongerius is completed!

24th December 2012

At last, after 30 months of building time, on 6 December with the official delivery the restoration of the villa Jongerius is completed. The villa will be opened officially in spring 2013 and at the same time a book about the villa (as part of the Jongerius complex) and its history will be presented. This book has been written by Bettina van Santen, architectural historian (working for the Monument Department of the city council of Utrecht). The date of the official opening of the villa will soon be released. The villa is now a new top location in Utrecht for gatherings and meetings, receptions and presentations with a capacity for 5 to 150 persons. Apart form this Jongerius will organise LIVE concerts on monthly Sundays by young musicians form Utrecht. More information: www.villajongerius.nl

MAPUTOPIA, passado-presente-futuro

21st December 2012

The Maputopia exhibition, first held in The City Council of Maputo from 29 Nov till 21 Dec 2012, is about artists and architects reflecting on urban developments in Maputo (capital city of Mozambique)and its relations to society. Maputopia is organised by African Architecture Matters in close cooperation with the architectural schools of Maputo, Pretoria and Delft. Maputopia will be an international travelling exhibition. Next stop will be Pretoria, South Africa in 2013. More news will follow soon.

Modern Architecture in Africa, doctoral thesis March 18 2011

23rd February 2012

On Friday March 18 2011 Antoni Folkers will publicly defend his doctoral thesis: Modern Architecture in Africa at 10.00 a.m. in the Senaatszaal, De Aula, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 5, Delft. Prior to the defence Antoni Folkers will give a short lecture on his thesis at 9.30 a.m. After the graduation ceremony there will be a reception. Supervisor: Prof. ir. W. Patijn

Upcoming book launches by Antoni Folkers on ‘Modern Architecture in Africa’

3rd September 2010

Book launches will be held in: Cape Town, South Africa at the Cape Institute for Architecture on 20 Sept 2010 Johannesburg, South Africa at the Architecture.ZA2010 MEGA-EVENT on 23 Sept 2010 Cincinnati, Ohio, USA at the University of Cincinnati on 27 Oct 2010. In Cape Town and Johannesburg the continuity in city growth versus fashionable interventions in the African city will be demonstrated. Recent history of the cities of Zanzibar and Ouagadougou will be examined. The continuity concerns the self-evident spatial needs of a city that may be realised through planned actions or emerge more or less spontaneously (as Filip De Boeck states: the city is planned and grows by itself at the same time). The fashionable interventions can be again, spontaneous or planned. Fashions may be planning tools, design forms, technology, or the government policy itself. Through the development of the two cities Ouagadougou and Zanzibar -- quite comparable from a historical point of view -- the continuity and the fashion will be showed in a portrait over the past quarter of a century. The lecture/launche will be concluded with some daring prophecies. At the University of Cincinnati Modern Architecture in Africa will be looked at form the Bijdendijk and Sylvester dilemmas. Focus will be on sustainability, durability and identity in African architecture. The Bijdendijk dilemma concerns the relationship between life expectancy and use of buildings in Africa. A building is sustainable if the designed lifetime and the usage converge. Nowadays, in modern architecture, this is often not the case leading to spillage of energy and materials. The Sylvester dilemma concerns the relationship between construed and inherent cultural identity. The degree of embedding building in culture relates strongly to the lifetime expectancy of the building, and hence to its sustainability.

Invitation book launch Antoni Folkers in a flash exposition in Galery Sanaa: opening 22 mei 2010

17th May 2010

SANAA shows: AFRICAN ARCHITECTURE MATTERS Friday 14 May till 6 June. Book launch by Antoni Folkers, Saturday 22 May 16.00 – 18.00 hours. Gallery Sanaa is a new gallery in Utrecht which shows modern art by African and Dutch artists. Within a flash exhibition Sanaa exhibits the African context in which the book – Modern Architecture in Africa- by Antoni Folkers has been perceived. Exhibition and book show that modernism in Africa produced pluriform and colourful architecture. Also listen to the interview with Antoni Folkers on Radio 1 Atlas, to broadcast: Sunday May 16th between 19.00 and 20.00 hours via www.radio1.nl/atlas.

Omnizorg Apeldoorn by FBW wins yet another prize!

25th March 2010

Omnizorg Centre Apeldoorn by FBW architects won the Province of Gelderland  Prize for Spatial Quality 2010. With this biennial prize the province of Gelderland wants to pay attention to good and inpiring projects. The prize is connected to a special theme. This year focus was on ‘Space for new social functions’.

According to the president of the jury, old advisor of the Queen for the province of Gelderland it concerns a building with guts, for its intention, location and topic. Carefully designed, with a lot of attention for colour, material, detail and for the people it is meant for. The facility does not only provide for ‘bed, bath and bread’, but at the same time guide people in a return into society, with little steps forward.

You want to know more about Omnizorg by FBW? Read the article in the newspaper Volkskrant by Hilde de Haan: ‘Palace for the homeless’.

FBW architecten wins Daas Burnt Brick Architecture Award 2010 with Omnizorg Centrum Apeldoorn

18th January 2011

Omnizorg Centre Apeldoorn is selected as winner of the Daas Burnt Brick Architecture Award 2010 by the president of the jury Fons Asselbergs, Advisor of State for Cultural Heritage. This prize has been created to highlight the role of burnt brick in architecture. The conception of the jury is as follows:

Discussion within the jury team lead unanimous to one winner because of:
The total uniqueness and newness of the project, the way the architect dealt with it, the social significance of the project and the exemplary use of burnt brick.

The Daas Burnt Brick Architecture Award 2010 is awarded to FBW Architects in Utrecht (Belinda van Buiten en Antoni Folkers) for their design of Omnizorg centre Apeldoorn.
Amersfoort, January 2010.