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Column Adriaan Mout | Looking back on 30 years

16 July 2019

Cobouw adriaan mout 190715 30 jaar terugkijken

Our office has been around for 30 years this year, which needs to be celebrated. We do this with a trip, a party and a book. But we also do this by looking back with some nostalgia on 30 years of being involved in this profession.

A lot has changed, and a lot has stayed the same at the same time. We are still trying to create places where residents and users live, work and stay with love and pleasure. Once we did that with drawing boards, we now do that with BIM models. At the time we rather did this in the periphery, now we see a major challenge for cities worldwide. Only if cities keep reinventing themselves, they will remain a welcome place for people.

This 30-year search for a welcome place for people, has resulted in an infinite number of plans. A substantial part was not realized and disappeared in the archive. An archive that was first made of paper and now roams somewhere in the cloud. In the first instance, it is not nice to review all those lost competitions, selections that have just not been won, and the many initiative plans that were not followed up. What are you doing it for, and has it made sense? But that is precisely why looking back is so purifying. It has made sense, it has taken us further and it has helped us with every new project. The work carries an endless series of considerations and ideas, that you take in intuitively and that shape and develop you.

Therefore we proudly look back on all the work that has been realized. With the knowledge that it took blood, sweat and tears and an enormous persistence to turn all that paper into beautifully made buildings. And reflection is also the basis for looking ahead. We do this with optimism and with young, enthusiastic, new people. Because in 30 years the world will look different again. But now it's time for a party!

July 2019,