Hans van Beek (architect AvB)
Hans van Beek
After an engineering degree at the HTS in The Hague, ir. Hans van Beek (1942) studied architecture at the Academy of Architecture in Rotterdam from 1966 to 1972. He worked with the architects' offices of Wouter van Erve, Piet Zanstra and Sjoerd Schamhart, respectively. With the former architect of The Hague Municipal, Joerd Schamhart, he designed experimental housing projects Couperusduin in The Hague and 't Simmelinck in Eibergen, as well as the General Government Archive in The Hague. During that period he was also active in the Dooievaar Foundation. This influential group has put a brake on the demise of downtown The Hague, so megalomaniac projects like the Koekampus and Dwarsweg were cancelled.
In 1976 Van Beek and Schamhart founded the architectural firm PRO, which was converted into atelier PRO after the completion of the new housing in 1978. Characteristic for the office was the ping pong method of the so-called design couples, a method already put into practice earlier on with Schamhart. From 1980, Van Beek was responsible for the architecture of atelier PRO. From 1990, he shared this responsibility with Leon Thier and from 2005 - after Thier's departure - with Dorte Kristensen. After finishing his last and biggest project, the ground-breaking Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort, Van Beek resigned from the management in 2014.
The work evolved from assignments for buildings - asked or unsolicited in the urban planning context - to comprehensive urban planning plans, in which he regularly acted as supervisor. This was the case with major projects in Amsterdam such as the Orange Nassau kazerne * and the VaRa strip, but also in the restructuring of the Laakhavengebied in The Hague. The winning competition for The Hague University of Applied Sciences was the result of this. Nevertheless, small projects, such as the transformation of the Ludger church to Ludgerhof, were also characteristic of Van Beek's work and atelier PRO.
A wide range of designs were awarded with domestic and foreign prices, including sustainable building. The innovative debut project Couperusduin has already acquired a strong position in architectural history, which was deeply anchored with PRO and shortly afterwards with atelier PRO.
Van Beek was and is very active in The Hague and occupied various administrative functions. He was, among other things, a board member of the Berlage Foundation, member of the welfare committee of The Hague, chairman of the Haags Architectuur Café, chairman of the Program Council of The Hague Architecture Platform Wils & Co and board member of the Globe Foundation.
In addition, Van Beek has regularly hosted guest lectures at home and abroad. In 2009 he was appointed as Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau. The crown of his work became the Meander Hospital in Amersfoort. How that was accomplished is a story that is described in detail in the book Kracht door wisselwerking (Power through Interaction) published on June 24, 2017.