UNStudio, founded in 1988 by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, is a Dutch architectural design studio specializing in architecture, urban development and infrastructural projects. The name, UNStudio, stands for United Network Studio, referring to the collaborative nature of the practice. In 2009 UNStudio Asia was established, with its first office located in Shanghai, China. UNStudio Shanghai is a full daughter of UNStudio and is intricately connected to UNStudio Amsterdam. Initially serving to facilitate the design process for the Raffles City project in Hangzhou, UNStudio Shanghai has expanded into a full-service design office with a multinational team of all-round and specialist architects. In 2014 we opened our third office in Hong Kong.
Throughout more than 20 years of international project experience, UNStudio has continually expanded its capabilities through prolonged collaboration with an extended network of international consultants, partners, and advisors across the globe. This network, combined with our centrally located offices in Amsterdam, Shanghai and Hong Kong, enables us to work efficiently anywhere in the world. With already over seventy projects in Asia, Europe, and North America, the studio continues to expand its global presence with recent commissions in among others China, South-Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Germany and the USA.
As a network practice, a highly flexible methodological approach has been developed which incorporates parametric designing and collaborations with leading specialists in other disciplines. Drawing on the knowledge found in related fields facilitates the exploration of comprehensive strategies which combine programmatic requirements, construction and movement studies into an integrated design. With this network approach UNStudio can set-up multidisciplinary teams from early stages onwards in order to create an efficient and integrated working process. This dynamic nature of the practice enables the exploration of new territories and the adaptation to future challenges.
UNStudio’s organizational structure accommodates our objective to be a flexible partner in challenging projects. We strive for quick and efficient processes, and we constantly evaluate and renew our working techniques. The management team of UNStudio consists of Co-founders Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos and the Directors Gerard Loozekoot, Astrid Piber and Harm Wassink. Together with a group of six Associate Directors the board of directors is responsible for the daily and long term management of the office.
Since the founding of the practice, UNStudio has been developing design knowledge as a result of combining the designing and building of projects with an active participation in architectural theory. In 2008, following a continued interest in geometry, digital production, material effects and attainable design solutions, this communal knowledge led to the introduction of knowledge platforms to the studio.
Whilst the primary objective of our project teams is to deliver the ‘result’ of architectural thinking (buildings, plans, designs), the objective of the knowledge platforms is to distill knowledge from within the practice of architecture in order to propel design thinking and innovation.
The research and development of design, data processing, technique and details, processing technical consequences and architectural supervision of UNStudio Van Berkel & Bos BV has been found to conform the Standard NEN-EN-ISO 9001: 2008 since 2001 and most recently in 2010 the Environmental management systems NEN-EN-ISO 14001:2004.