Prof.ir. A. Geuze

Professor of Landscape Architecture – Department of Urbanism

Landscape architecture is more than the designing of parks and squares. It is an engineering tradition. Professor of Landscape Architecture Adriaan Geuze sees opportunities for using landscape architecture in a crossover with the other domains in Delft. That is how we could work on complex and urgent long-term tasks, such as climate adaptation, housing construction, energy transition, and agriculture realignment.

The Netherlands face significant and complex challenges. Amongst others, we are struggling with the energy transition and the housing shortage. But do we want to fill up the entire country with solar cells and wind turbines at the expense of fertile farmland and beautiful views? And where should new houses be built - in existing cities or in new locations with new infrastructure? “These kinds of difficult questions cannot be answered without looking at them systematically,” says Geuze. “When you do so, you see that action in the Netherlands is dominated by procedures and short-term plans. Decision-making, organisations, budgets and planning are always based on modelling, but those models do not correspond with reality. This applies to files such as the Covid-19 pandemic, national infrastructural and spatial issues, and IT challenges. TU Delft is the perfect place to work on these kinds of issues. Not from a procedural perspective, but from an engineering tradition based on knowledge and facts, with interesting, feasible proposals for the future.”

Showcasing the tradition of creating land

As a professor, Geuze sees opportunities to better profile and showcase the engineering tradition of land making. “From the perspective of landscape architecture, we can offer the key to large-scale and medium-term challenges. That would protect our country from being purely at the mercy of market forces and decentralised, short-term approaches. This dilemma is illustrated by the discussion on the construction of mega data centres. In such discussions, local councillors make local choices with far-reaching national consequences for our space, our energy and our job security.”

Crossing domains

Adriaan Geuze bas built up a varied oeuvre over the past 35 years. In 1987, he graduated from Wageningen University as an agricultural engineer and founded urban West 8. He is still in charge of this design office for urban design, landscape architecture and infrastructure. Leading projects such as Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam and Strijp S in Eindhoven show what happens when projects transcend the profession’s disciplinary boundaries. They are not just landscape architectural projects or urban development plans but everything in between. In the meantime, West 8 has, for example, realised over 160 bridges and is responsible for large-scale developments such as the Madrid Rio city park in Spain, the Toronto Central Waterfront in Canada and the botanical gardens in Houston, Texas. In the Netherlands, West 8 is also known for the Rotterdam Central Station, the Hondsbossche Zeewering and the Afsluitdijk. In addition, Geuze has taught as a Visiting Professor at Harvard and elsewhere, was previously connected with the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment as Professor by Special Appointment of Residential Building and curated the second Rotterdam Architecture Biennale with the theme ‘De Zondvloed’ [The Deluge].

Adriaan Geuze

Photo credits: © Carel van Hees

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