About

A full-service architecture design network in three locations.

UNStudio, founded in 1988 by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, is an international architectural design network with three full-service international offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We specialise in architecture, interior architecture, product design, urban development and infrastructural projects.

200 staff from 27 countries are spread throughout the network in a streamlined structure that enables us to spend less time organising and more time designing and collaborating with our clients.

UNStudio’s current management team consists of Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot, Astrid Piber and Hannes Pfau, closely supported by a strong group of long-term directors and associate directors.

Vision

Future-proofing the future

As what we design today is normally built in three to five years’ time, we’re used to working with the future in mind. However, the future is changing faster than ever before. Even the most accurate predictions can be made redundant by a sudden advance in technology. To ensure we don’t contribute to a waste of materials and investment that is no longer sustainable or appropriate in today’s world, we develop strategies that not only anticipate the future, but possible changes to that future as well.

We believe that the key to ‘future-proofing the future’ is knowledge. For the last decade, we have focused on expanding our understanding of trends and practice in architecture and beyond. Two dedicated teams research every facet of the built environment inside and outside architecture. Within our network, Knowledge Platforms serve as a database for sharing and expanding the experience and skills acquired during our design projects. Externally, we collaborate with partners including the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Microsoft and Mitsubishi in four Workfields that investigate how to improve quality of life. The results contribute to our mission of producing user-centric designs that are adaptive, resilient and future-proof, whatever the future may bring.

International Project Experience

Collaborating, working and learning on a global scale

More than 25 years of successfully completing projects across Asia, Europe and North America have given us a huge wealth of practical and theoretical experience. As we have simultaneously extended our network to include consultants, partners, and advisors across the globe, we are in a position to work efficiently and effectively anywhere in the world: what we learn from a project in Singapore, for example, makes it significantly easier to implement the same knowledge in Dubai or London.

Here is an overview of our projects.

Knowledge Platforms

An inspiration bank that propels our design thinking towards greater innovation.

Our Knowledge Platforms collate a comprehensive database of all the ideas and research developed by UNStudio designers. While many directions are explored during a project, ultimately only one solution is ever produced. But instead of casting aside hours of work, the Knowledge Platforms give these ideas a chance to flourish elsewhere.

In-house teams contribute to our Knowledge Platforms in four areas: Organisations, Parameters, Materials, and Sustainability. In line with our philosophy of collaboration, we also invite external experts, manufacturers, policymakers and academics to contribute to the platforms, conduct research and develop initiatives to foster knowledge exchange. This combination of expertise and experience makes each platform an inspiration bank that propels our design thinking towards greater innovation.

Workfields

Scenarios that help us predict how technology, social, political and economic factors will affect the built environment.

To effectively future-proof the future, we need to think beyond architecture. Resilience on its own is no longer enough; to create truly sustainable designs we need a better understanding of how people will live, move, learn and work in the future.

Our Workfield teams track behavioural patterns to investigate how people act and interact on an individual to community level in four areas – Superliving, Mobility+, Work & Campus and Culture & Commerce. These teams develop plausible and provocative future scenarios that help us predict how technological, social, political and economic factors will affect how users relate to the built environment.

Multidisciplinary collaborations with experts in other fields foster the development of products that provide new insights into architecture, its processes, materials and organisation. This leads to the creation of better performing buildings and healthier cities.

Attainable Design

All our projects are financially and socially feasible

UNStudio is committed to the promotion and practice of sustainable design. Environmental issues like social and ecological sustainability are taken into account right from the start of a project. In addition we are dedicated to making every project both financially and socially feasible, a combination that we call ‘attainable design’.

Improvement and Quality

Internationally approved practices

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: 2015 since 2001.