Willem Jan Neutelings


Willem Jan Neutelings (1959) is a partner in the firm Neutelings Riedijk Architecten. The office designs monumental, sculptural buildings with eye-catching ‘cladding’.

For his graduation project ‘The Ring Culture’, Neutelings researches the Antwerp ring road. Later, he designs a project in which the motorway figures predominantly: the ‘Carpet Metropolis’ near the Prins-Clausplein in The Hague (1989-1990).

From 1981-1986, Willem Jan Neutelings works for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture of Rem Koolhaas. In 1987 he establishes his own firm and, in the late 1980s, designs two apartment blocks in Antwerp and a house in Brasschaat. He also designs the winning, but unrealised, design for the European Patents Agency (1989-1990), together with Frank Roodbeen. In 1991, Neutelings is the recipient of the Rotterdam Maaskant Prize for Young Architects. In 1992 he co-founds Neutelings Riedijk Architecten Michiel Riedijk. 

The buildings designed by Neutelings and Riedijk consist of manipulating simple geometric shapes. The buildings resemble sculptures, often with prominent projections. In their design process, the duo sometimes create over a hundred scale models to achieve the final shape. Next, they design a ‘skin’ for the building, featuring a distinctive patterning of captions on the facades or letters that serve as columns (Veenman Drukkers and university building De Minnaert). The book "At Work. Neutelings Riedijk Architecten" of 2004 describes the firm’s design methodology.

On the whole, although the firm takes part in a large number of international competitions, it has so far completed buildings in the Netherlands and Flanders. Both Riedijk and Neutelings lecture on different architectural programmes. In 2010 Neutelings Riedijk Architecten were awarded the BNA Kubus Award for their entire oeuvre.


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