Reading Room: closing programme

Reading Room: closing programme

28.04.2022 — 29.04.2022



Reading Room‘ will leave San Sebastian on May 1. By way of closing, on April 28 and 29, two young Dutch architects will visit the Euskadi Institute of Architecture. Both have a publication within the installation, where emerging studios from more than 25 European countries address urgent issues of the global architectural debate. Elma van Boxel, from Studio ZUS, and Donna van Milligen Bielke will bring to the Basque Country some of these reflections from the daily practice within the studios that they themselves have launched in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

This program has the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Spain.

Free registration.

April 28: Elma van Boxel, Studio ZUS

Elma van Boxel studied landscape architecture at Van Hall Larenstein University and architecture and urban planning at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture. She is the founder and director of ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] which she co-founded with Kristian Koreman in 2001.

ZUS is an internationally operating, multidisciplinary office for public architecture. Their Rotterdam-based office consists of 35 architects, urban planners and landscape architects, who work on complex solicited and unsolicited projects at home and abroad. Their projects range from parks, buildings and squares, to area visions, city plans and a new Delta Plan for the Netherlands. ZUS always works according to the belief that the imaginative power of architecture can contribute to a necessary shift of boundaries between the private and the public, long and short term, temporality and permanence, culture and nature.

Van Boxel and Koreman were curators of the 2012 Rotterdam International Architecture Biennale “Making City” and were part of the first curatorial team for BMW Guggenheim Lab in New York, where they are also Visiting Professors at Syracuse University. For their cross-border work they received the Rotterdam Maaskant Prize for Young Architects in 2007. They were elected Architect of the Year 2012, won the Berlin Urban Intervention Award 2013 and the Gulden Feniks Award 2022.

April 29: Donna van Milligen Bielke

Donna van Milligen Bielke (1983) is fascinated by the redefinition and positioning of boundaries, and the influence of architecture on public space. Rather than classifying architecture in volumes, and the city as a collection of volumes, she sees architecture as a means of shaping, connecting and responding to urban fabric. She thus operates on the border of architecture and urban design.

Van Milligen Bielke connects existing and new structures with ingenious precision. In this way she creates new parts of the city that do not radically break with the existing one, but add a layer to it. Her clear architectural language goes back to the essence without being nostalgic and convinces in creating openness and possibilities for appropriation.

Her designs show a clear ambition in designing public interiors, placing herself in a classical European tradition. Although the reference to that tradition is recognizable, the application of this tradition is again emphatically contemporary. The dialogue that the designs enter into with the existing architecture and urban planning traditions in the Netherlands enriches the Dutch tradition.

In 2014, Van Milligen Bielke received the Prix de Rome for a plan for organizing the public space in Rotterdam, and in 2019 she received the Young Maasskant Prize. She published her book ‘In between’ in 2019, available in ‘Reading Room‘.


In english, with simultaneous translation.