Architecture – 17 projects selected

In the first Architecture round of 2023, 17 proposals have been selected. The quality of the proposals was high. The available budget was unfortunately not sufficient to award a grant to all 33 positively assessed applications. Dominique Geelen, grant officer Architecture Grant Scheme, reflects on the round.

26 April 2023

general impression

Besides the recurring overarching themes, such as housing, sustainable materials development, the future of the Dutch landscape and dealing with climate change in the city, there were also some interesting new topics to discover in this round. One of these is the attitude or approach to the uncertain future we are facing. Based on the need to prepare our living environment for the profound consequences of the inevitable, applicants think in scenarios. What is the role of designers in this preparation? Another recurring theme is the role of materiality within architecture and interior architecture. This ranges from thinking about sustainability and reuse within interiors, and the opportunities for utilizing sustainable materials and systems in the repurposing of heritage, to the hyperfocus on the development and position of hemplime as a building material. Several applications also highlight the importance of architectural criticism for the enrichment and development of the profession. Within these projects, the emphasis is placed on opening the conversation, providing different perspectives and engaging a wider audience.

diversity and inclusion

The contribution to diversity and inclusion within the field is one of the criteria on which applications are assessed. As a result, we see applicants thinking more about the possible approaches to diversity and inclusion within architectural projects. Not only talking about, but also with the target audience and the role language plays in engaging stakeholders, is addressed in an integral way by an increasing number of designers as part of the approach. In addition, the applicant’s own role is questioned or colleagues are challenged to take more of a stand in this area. A good example is atelier urto’s project Urban diversiTEENS, which explores the way certain marginalized groups utilize or appropriate space, deviating from original thoughts on its use. The project shows that there is a task for designers to do justice to the diverse needs and wishes that differ from a certain standard that is more commonly designed for.


The available budget of € 350,000 was not sufficient to award a grant to all 33 positively assessed applications. As a result, the advisory committee had to prioritize. The procedure used is described in the Architecture Grant Scheme. After prioritization, 16 positively assessed projects were eliminated from the selection.

A few notable projects from this round’s selection are:

Paradijs van imperfectie, Violette Schönberger

Violette Schönberger – Paradijs van imperfectie
According to Violette Schönberger, tasks such as housing shortages, the design of public space and mobility require an integral approach in which design and spatial quality are central. Despite the urgency of these issues, Schönberger believes that architecture, as a critical discipline, is becoming further marginalized in the Netherlands. The publication Paradijs van imperfectie forms a counterpoint to contemporary Dutch architectural criticism and consists of essays offering a critical perspective on the future of the city from four thematic perspectives: the planned city, the governed city, the lived city and the quiet city. The publication consists of a thematically arranged selection of 38 columns from the 60 columns Schönberger has published in recent years via, and

Bildung, Werkstatt

Werkstatt – Bildung: Opzoek naar een nieuwe ecologische esthetiek
Werkstatt believes that the shift to a bio-based building culture will only succeed if people are included in an imagined vision of the future. Werkstatt is therefore looking for a new ecological aesthetic. This will serve as the prelude to an annual platform for experimentation and debate, driven by 1:1 design and materials research. With an exhibition, lecture and debate, and a residency and experimentation with students and professionals in South Limburg, Werkstatt is exploring how the material hemplime can be given form in a poetic way.

MIND EXPANDERS, Kunsthal Rotterdam

Kunsthal Rotterdam – MIND EXPANDERS
The MIND EXPANDERS exhibition shows a selection of the work of activist architectural collective Haus-Rucker-Co. Ever since the 1960s, this collective’s goal was to create general awareness about public space with their utopian and technologically innovative architectural concepts, and to change society as a result. Through so-called happenings and with the help of innovative experiments, Haus-Rucker-Co questioned various social challenges and aimed to improve the world by doing so. The first part of the exhibition features various experiments. The second part consists of the reproduction of the Giant Billiard installation. In the third part, a film experiment is shown that translates Haus-Rucker-Co’s ideas to the Rotterdam environment. MIND EXPANDERS can be seen at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam from 29 April to 3 September 2023. An educational and audience programme has been developed to accompany the exhibition, for the general public as well as students and professionals.

Click here for all the projects selected in Architecture in 2023.


Of the 63 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 17 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 27%.

The closing date for the next Architecture round is 10 August 2023. If you would like to apply for a starting grant in this round, use the Starting Grant Project Canvas. This canvas has been introduced to the Architecture Grant Scheme as a pilot from 2023. Its aim is to lower the threshold for applying for starting grants and to promote further development towards regular project grant applications.