Relaxed Private Commissioning

Interview with Frank van Beek and Frank Veen, Lingotto


  • Eric Frijters Fabrications
  • Olv Klijn TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment



Until a few years ago, it was common practice in the Netherlands for developers to deliver generic products and give most of their attention to production. Of course, there was also a market that accepted this. It made little difference what was produced, for everything sold. Although architects had been expressing an interest in increasing residents’ input in the design of housing with a certain degree of regularity ever since the 1970s, there was little enthusiasm among developers. Helped by the crisis, but also as the consequence of a process of increasing consumer articulation that had begun prior to that, the end-user’s position has grown stronger. In the past years, developers have also shown an increased interest in taking the end-users’ wishes as the starting point, instead of as finishing touches to the work.

Lingotto is an example of a developer that has explored new possibilities in various projects over the last ten years. Since its beginnings in 2000, Lingotto has realized diverse housing projects, primarily new-build. As of five years ago, the company began focusing more expressly on converting school buildings and offices into residential buildings. Because of the crisis, this is increasingly coming into vogue, and it is becoming more and more important to develop distinctive concepts in this regard. The input of the end-user is essential here.

Author Biographies

Eric Frijters, Fabrications

Eric Frijters, founding partner and principal at FABRICations, Professor (Lector) Future Urban Regions (FUR) at the Dutch Academies of Architecture. Eric has over 15 years of experience in designing and executing projects in architecture, urbanism and consulting in regional strategies in the Netherlands and abroad. He has a background in architecture at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and graduated Cum Laude at the Eindhoven University of Technology. His research is being published in several books and various journals and Eric received recognition for his work with several prizes (Prix de Rome, Iakov Chernikhov International Architecture Prize) as a designer, that stands in the field and experiments with innovative architecture, education and research in architecture and urbanism. As of June 2013 he is leading the research group Future Urban Regions focusing on healthy urbanization, design thinking methodology and testing results for productive strategies on urban metabolism in studios at Academies of Architecture.

Olv Klijn, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Olv Klijn is Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology and founder and partner of FABRICations. Klijn studied architecture at Eindhoven University of Technology and graduated Cum Laude. Klijn has written articles for various architecture magazines, including de Architect, and worked as a junior architect for OMA in Rotterdam. Klijn is (co) author of various books such as VMX Agenda, 10 x Den Bosch, Station Centraal, Architect by accident and The making of ... After founding FABRICations in 2007 with Eric Frijters, he has been involved in the design and research of architecture, urban design and regional strategies. In 2010, FABRICations won the first prize in the Prix de Rome Architecture.  In 2011, Klijn was recognized as one of the 40 emerging European architects under the age of 40. A year later he was nominated for the Iakov Chernikhov International Architecture Prize.