Architecture Workroom

Rotterdam Biennale appoints three curators for diptych 2018+2020

Dutch Government Architect Floris Alkemade, Flemish Government Architect Leo Van Broeck and architect Joachim Declerck appointed curators of two-part IABR. Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands Floris Alkemade (FAA - Floris Alkemade Architect), Flemish Government Architect Leo Van Broeck (Bogdan & Van Broeck) and Joachim Declerck (AW) have been appointed the curators of the next two editions of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) in 2018 and 2020.

IABR–2018+2020 is a two-part Biennale that has the Netherlands and Belgium as its workspace and the world as its source of inspiration. From the spring of 2017 until the summer of 2020, the IABR will focus on what the qualitative leap forward for our cities and landscapes is that the necessary response to today’s major challenges enables us to make.

Press release



IABR–2018+2020 starts from the challenge that was put on the agenda of the world community in 2015 by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (COP21). They clearly marked a spot on the horizon. This allows an actual change of direction, a fundamental transition. But how do we advance? How do we activate our societies, and not in a defensive but in a positive way? What does the qualitative leap forward that this transition will allow our cities and landscape to make actually involve?

Flemish Government Architect Leo Van Broeck: ‘The intention is to bring architectural quality, spatial quality and ecological quality together in one single narrative.’


The three curators Alkemade, Van Broeck and Declerck will explore in what ways spatial transformation can respond to our major challenges. The workspace is the unique urban ecological and economic system of the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt Delta, the Low Countries where excessive land use is the norm and where we share many challenges. If we redesign the way we live, work, and dwell together in our urbanized delta we can proactively make space for the energy transition, for the transition to a circular economy, for inclusive urban development, and for an innovative approach to mobility problems, health care issues, and the food production and water challenges. IABR–2018+2020 provides a workspace as well as a platform for a future agenda. It will be a call to architects worldwide to help us link social themes to spatial problems that are urgent because of the climate change and the ensuing question of how to redesign space for the greater physical and social resilience of our cities and landscapes. In times of radical uncertainty, the IABR–2018+2020 deliberately focuses on offering action perspectives, on the design of that which we can want, and on the imagination and presentation of that which we can achieve as a society.

Government Architect Floris Alkemade: ‘We need to look for the social value that each design challenge can add. To think about the future in terms of social and ecological profits, rather than imminent losses.’


The IABR is both a knowledge institute and a cultural platform and uses the power of imagination and design for goal-oriented work on actual change. Its methodology makes it possible to bring together many local and regional initiatives and challenges, to share existing insights, to develop new knowledge, and to test it in practice. More than ever before, the curators will take the opportunity of the IABR to create a shared space that stimulates meeting and interacting. With each other and with the world. One main objective is to bridge the gap between the many small-scale initiatives on the one hand and the huge scale of the social challenges that we face on the other. New socio-spatial practices can and must increase the speed, capacity, and quality of social transitions.


Paris marked a spot on the horizon and that forces us to step up our efforts to bridge the gap between research and implementation and to apply all of the knowledge we have more boldly and more effectively. That is why a two-part Biennale is a fitting format. The 2018 edition, a ‘work’ Biennale, will mainly be dedicated to research and knowledge exchange, debate and brainstorming sessions, whereas the burden of proof rests with the 2020 edition.

IABR president George Brugmans: I really look forward to collaborate with this unique Curator Team and to see all of its knowledge, networks, and research capacity put to great use in over three years of intensive, goal-oriented designing for the future. The appointment of these three curators and the format of a two-part edition allow the IABR to profit more than before from the fact that it is a twenty- first-century Biennale. We have definitely moved beyond the format of “a festival of good projects,” key for us is to position the cultural platform as a catalyst for actual change in our delta and in the world.


The IABR is lead partner of the Dutch central government in the context of the Action Agenda Spatial Design of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. The IABR has entered into a long-term collaboration with the Belgian organization Architecture Workroom Brussels. The parties will be active in each other’s domains and benefit from each other's expertise. The focus is on taking research by design to the next level and on showing and more specifically helping to implement its results in the Netherlands and Belgium.

As part of its multiyear policy plan 2017-2020, Towards a Resilient City, the IABR has entered into action-oriented collaboration agreements with Resilient Rotterdam (Department of Urban Development, City of Rotterdam) and with the Special Envoy for International Water Affairs (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment). Important (research) partners involved in the realization of the IABR–2018+2020 are the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the Atelier of the Dutch Government Architect, the Team of the Flemish Government Architect, AIR and the Veldacademie. The IABR receives multiyear subsidies from the city of Rotterdam and from the Creative Industries Fund NL.



A Whole World to Win— Floris Alkemade in conversation with Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck
Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods
Atelier Kortrijk 2025— Innovative urban development strategy
Designing The Future— series of debates
Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
Atelier Brussels— Expo A Good City Has Industry
Spoor Oost— Urban Renewal Project
City of Bruges— Week of the City
Zeebrugge Revitalisation— Urban Renewal Project
Torhout— experiential and identity study
Launch OASE 96 Social Poetics— The Architecture of Use and Appropriation
From cure to care— transitions in the healthy city of Utrecht
Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
Imagine Europe— Bozar
Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
Development strategy— Ostend Eastern Shore
Review of spatial structure plan— Bruges City
The City as Factory— Buda Workroom
Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
Architecture Culture Platform
Ghent Muide-Meulestede
IABR 2016 — Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City
Publication—Reweaving the Urban Carpet
Eurodelta 2030 - 2100
Eurometropolitan Blue Space
Atelier— Productive BXL
Atelier de Stad— Brussels
Lecture — Mark Brearley
Festival Kanal Play Ground
Metropolitan Coast Landscape 2100
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature— Atelier Brabantstad
Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
Atelier— In Between
Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
Preparatory workshop— development plan for Sidaplax in Ghent
Atelier De Stad Brussels— Kanal Play Ground
International Atelier— Eurometropolis
Expert advice— 'Nieuw Gent'
Preparatory workshop— housing development plan in Kapellen
Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
Vlaanderen als Ontwerp— Atelier
The Ambition of the Territory— deSingel International Arts Campus
Lecture—Carolyn Steel - The Hungry City
Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux
Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders
Guide plan—Brussels canal
The Ambition of the Territory—Belgian Pavilion Venice 2012
Making City—5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Project definition—new prison in Haren
Building for Brussels— Architecture and urban transformation in Europe
Making City—Atelier Istanbul
G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
Exploring the metropolitan condition
The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Master Class—120% Brussels
City Trajectory—Brussels Canal
Program—Building For Brussels
Exhibition—Building for Brussels
Exhibition—Architecture for Justice
Concept studios—Spatial Policy Plan of Flanders
Article A+ 282 village— Cultivate the food landscape
Vacancy - Operational Director (w/m/x)
Delta Atelier document
Vacancy— Research collaborators
Vacancy— Communication manager
Transition— Learning, living, working in 2050
Publication— Architectuurcultuur in Vlaanderen (only in NL)
Workshop II— Delta Atelier Urban Management
Air For Schools workshop— Keizer Karellaan and Leopold II-tunnel
Netwerkbijeenkomst— Ontwerp met Beleid
Bap! Biennale of architecture and landscape of Île-de-France— 1st edition
Socio-spatial study— Baudelo Building Ghent
Water+Land+Scape approved
Urbanising in Place— Rosario Workshop
Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
You Are Here - Brussels
Announcement — IABR-THE MISSING LINK Rotterdam and Brussels
Urbanising in Place— Building the Food-Water-Energy nexus
IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link— Delta Atelier
Antwerp— Mapping the shift of metropolitan phenomena in Berchem extra muros
Publication— Designing the Future
CS Genk— Campus Bret 21st century learning landscape
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— and test site M4H
IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio— Has left the starting blocks
Regional Call IABR-Atelier OVK— Help shape the future of the East Flanders Core region
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
Open Space Platform— Call Water-Land-Schap
Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia
Open Space Platform— Publication Operation Open Space
THE MISSING LINK— Curator Statement, Research Agenda and Call for Practices
Atelier Zennevallei
Urban Intervention — BRIDGE
Workshop Series — Urban Economy in the Brussels Metropolitan Area
Lecture and Debate — Fitting More Industry In
Rotterdam Biennale appoints three curators for diptych 2018+2020
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.