Porten Development

PORTEN DEVELOPMENT 59 | - INTERVIEW - Gert van den Hoven (partner and senior architect) and Johan Körner of Porten met through their mutual building partner VORM. Van den Hoven: ”We clicked almost instantly. Porten Development is widely oriented, just like VAN AKEN. We have clients ranging from high-tech industrial companies to psycho-geriatric care homes and amusement park Efteling. So, we literally make dreams come true! Porten Development has the same attitude towards stepping out of their comfort zone.” HOUTHAVEN LIFE PROJECT IN AMSTERDAM The first project VAN AKEN and Porten took on together was the Houthaven project in Amsterdam, also called LIFE. ”The municipality of Amsterdam wanted a plan that would do justice to the history of this neighborhood. The Spaarndammerbuurt had always been a working-class district. This is why we were required to include a large part of social housing. We added high-level care units and intramural care facilities, since we believe inclusive building is indispensable for a livable future.” HOUTHAVENKADE PROJECT IN ZAANDAM For the Houthavenkade project in Zaandam, the boundaries of the two companies’ comfort zone were definitely pushed. “Here, we are rebuilding an industrial zone into a sustainable residential area, with 710 homes, 40 private sector and 670 rental properties, of which 30% social housing and 20% mid-market rental houses. We have developed a wonderful plan. We even designed a new marina for boats and along the waterside there will be cafes and restaurants: they form the heart of the neighborhood. The local community is excited and welcoming to the new plan.” FUTURE-PROOF BUILDING The two companies find each other in their desire to leave something tangible and valuable behind for future generations. “For both our companies the client and his neighborhood are the most important factors. Johan loves to puzzle all logistic pieces together in order to find the best functional and cost-effective plan. Then, it’s our turn. We usually take little time to come up with a workable concept. When the project is finished and a resident comes up to you to say they just love Wliving in the home you designed for them, that’s our ultimate reward.” The architects of VAN AKEN Concepts, Architecture & Engineering BV in Eindhoven teamed up with Porten Development for two projects with similar names, of which the Houthaven LIFE project in Amsterdam was nominated for the Zuiderkerk architectural design award in 2020. GERT VAN HOVEN VAN AKEN CAE ‘CREATIVITY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONNECT US, WE BOTH HAVE THE TENACITY TO ALWAYS GO BEYOND’