Machiel Spaan

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Machiel Spaan
Machiel Spaan (*1966, Nijmegen, The Netherlands), Dutch architect.jpg
Machiel Albertus Wilhelmus Spaan

(1966-12-05) 5 December 1966 (age 52)
Nijmegen, Netherlands
OccupationArchitect, educator

Machiel Spaan (born 5 December 1966) is a Dutch architect and educator.


Machiel Spaan was born on 5 December 1966 in Nijmegen. He studied architecture at the Eindhoven University of Technology from 1985 until 1992. Upon his master's degree in 1992 he founded M3H architecten, Amsterdam, of which he has remained owner together with architect Marc Reniers. Since 1994 Spaan has created more than forty apartment buildings in The Netherlands, mostly within the existing city of Amsterdam. His buildings have been selected for the Yearbook of Dutch Architecture in 2013/14[1] and 2015/16.[2] In 2016, his apartment building De Smaragd won the Zuiderkerk Prize, the most prestigious architecture prize awarded by the city of Amsterdam.[3]

Since 2000 Spaan has been a professor of architecture at the ArtEZ University of Arts and the Amsterdam University of the Arts respectively. From 2007 until 2012 he was Head of the Department of Architecture at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. As part of the Erasmus Programme he initiated, curated, and taught a workshop series in seven European countries from 2008 until 2014. In his educational projects, such as Tastenderwijs (2004), The Temporary Expert (2004-07), Building Tectonics (2007-14), Crafting the façade (2015-17), Spaan largely focusses on the creation of sensory experiences of architecture through engagement with materials and exploration of form. In collaboration with the landscape architect Bruno Doedens, he created the three environmental workshops Pannenland (2013),[4] Wadland (2014), and Windwerk (2016), engaging with the landscape in an ongoing process of transformation. A hallmark of Spaan's approach is an active engagement with the design question, taking confluence as a starting point. Questioning the physical, social, and historical context in an ongoing process towards innovation of the architectural form.[5]

Selected works by Spaan/ M3H architecten[edit]

  • De Mokumer, Van Beuningenstraat, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2005. Zuiderkerk Prize 2005 (nominated)
  • Wooden Houses, Wenslauerstraat, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2013.[6] Amsterdamse Nieuwbouw Prize 2014 (second prize)
  • De Boetzelaer, Boetzelaerplein, Amsterdam, 2013.
  • Tugelawegblokken, Tugelaweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2015.[7] [8] [9] [10] Amsterdamse Nieuwbouw Prize 2016 (nominated); Arie Keppler Prize 2016 (first prize in the category Residential buildings); Brick Award 2018 (nominated)
  • De Smaragd, Insulindeweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2016. Zuiderkerk Prize 2016 (first prize); Arie Keppler Prize 2018 (nominated)
  • The Listening House (interdisciplinary sound architecture installation, with composer Rozalie Hirs, 2017).[11] [12]

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Wandering Maker (M. Spaan; Engelse vertaling: M. Speer), Architectura and Natura (G. Bekkers, ed.), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2019 ISBN 978-94-6140-066-6
  • Crafting the Façade. Stone, Brick, Wood. A handbook of innovative concepts for design and construction of building façades (U. Meister, C. Rist-Stadelman, M. Spaan, eds.), Park Books, Zürich, Switzerland, 2018. ISBN 978-3-03860-101-2
  • Forum (M. Spaan, M. Maaskant, E. Ronner, L. Kramer, B. de Baets, S. Kassenaar, eds.). Architecture Magazine, Architectura et Amicitia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2018-2022 ISSN 2212-4829
  • A short walk through space and sound - Seven notes by Machiel Spaan (M. Spaan; Engelse vertaling: Billy Nolen), area 154 - acoustic temples, area Magazine, Milaan, Italy, 2017
  • The merit of sauntering (M. Spaan), X Agendas for architecture, Artifice, London, UK, 2016.[13] ISBN 978-1-908967-76-3 pp 109-111
  • New attitudes: designing in times of transformation (K. de Jong, A. Oxenaar, M. Kloos, M. Spaan, eds.), Architectura and Natura, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2013. ISBN 978-94-61400-29-1
  • Musical approaches to Space (M. Spaan). Music, Space and Architecture, Architectura and Natura, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2012. pp 77-93
  • Music, Space and Architecture (K. de Jong, A. Oxenaar, M. Kloos, M. Spaan, eds.), Architectura and Natura, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2012. ISBN 978-94-614-0005-5


  1. ^ Architectuur in Nederland Jaarboek 2013/14 T. Avermaete, H. van der Heijden, E. Oostmeijer, L. Vlassenrood, editors. NAI 010 uitgevers, Rotterdam, 2014
  2. ^ Architectuur in Nederland Jaarboek 2015/16 T. Avermaete, H. van der Heijden, E. Oostmeijer, K. Hannema, editors. NAI 010 uitgevers, Rotterdam, 2016
  3. ^ De Smaragd in de Indische Buurt winnaar van de Zuiderkerkprijs, Ton Damen, Het Parool, The Netherlands, 7 December 2016
  4. ^ Oerol. De zee neemt geen afscheid. T. Metz. De Groene Amsterdammer, 24 juni 2013
  5. ^ Tugelablokken. De nieuwe Tugelablokken zijn een voorbeeld van een Nieuwe Amsterdamse School die met respect voor geschiedenis en traditie de stad op een hedendaagse wijze vernieuwd. De architect (online), 25 augustus 2015
  6. ^ Wooden Houses in Amsterdam by M3H Architecten, Ashleigh Davis, Dezeen, 22 oktober 2013
  7. ^ Tugelablokken. modern vakmanschap geïnspireerd op oude details C. Debets (auteur), A. van der Hoek (fotograaf), BouwTotaal (online), 6 juli 2016
  8. ^ De Amsterdamse School bestaat honderd jaar. Een viering van zijn iconische bouwstijl. K. Hannema, K. Knols, De Volkskrant, 8 April 2016
  9. ^ Winnaars Arie Keppler Prijs 2016
  10. ^ Herwaardering van de complexiteit van historische architectuur - Tugelawegblokken in Amsterdam door M3H architecten. M. van Winsen (auteur), A. van der Hoek (fotograaf). De Architect Magazine, VMN, Alphen aan de Rijn, December 2016
  11. ^ Een poppenhuis bouwen is geen kinderspel K. Hannema, De Volkskrant, 15 April 2017
  12. ^ A short walk through space and sound M. Spaan, area 154 - acoustic temples, area Magazine, Milaan, Italië, September-oktober 2017
  13. ^ News: X Agendas for Architecture. Book launch at the Dutch Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Italy, 27 May 2016 Technische Universiteit Delft (online), 19 mei 2016