Name: Sander Mirck
Where do you live: Amsterdam, Holland
Architecture, like the ITC Annex – a lecture hall topped by student housing, created with a contemporary backhouse in the monumental city centre of Leiden.
Currently working on:
Designing and building a particular dike house.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this:
During a sabbatical between Bachelors and Masters I decided to become an architect. At this age of 20, I chose to join the board a student club in Delft. At the end of that year I realised architecture was the right profession for me.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Amsterdam, because of the big creativity – past and current – on a bicycle scale.
How would you describe your design/work:
In general my architecture is contemporary; more specific my architecture is balancing. Many values influence architecture, like the client and the architect, but also technique and nature. In fact, it is quite a chaos having all these values together. My architecture strives to an equilibrium of the relevant values.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
After my sabbatical it became serious matter, culminating into a large scale graduation project. That was the theory and all of a sudden reality knocked on my door: my graduation professor asked me to join his big Amsterdam office. An offer I couldn’t refuse. 6 years later it became even more serious by starting my own studio, now 12 years ago.
What do you do at the moment?
Designing and building houses, and some other specials like a new Chinatown. Next to the studio I joined the foundation Living Daylights. Together with my board members we research and promote daylight in architecture. The site is in Dutch – unfortunately – but it is a leading expert platform in Holland. One of the most eye-catching events is the Daylight Award. Last year the new train station of Rotterdam won the first prize.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Be patient, for a long time. In Holland we call this angels’ patience. Of course you must be good, and you need confidence and work hard, but don’t underestimate patience.
Tell us how it all started.
Via via. From one person to another. It was hard work in the Amsterdam office of my professor, but there is always energy and time for new ideas. Somebody recognized my ambition and the good match. A couple of months later I worked on his new house and the next house quickly followed. Via via. And since then it has been an exciting adventure in which I fortunately manage to grab the special chances that pass by.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Daylight and views. These two things make you feel really good, giving energy and inspiration.
What is your favorite film?
The Matrix. Now, after 16 years, the theme is still topical. In 1999 the timing and the content made it a bull’s eye experience for me.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
David Bowie. A fascinating miscellaneous artist, and mystery. I will gladly give up the mystery for that dinner.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
By scuba diving.
What is luxury for you?
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your design/work, and from whom?
A returning client told me recently, that he enjoyed our intensive design process as much as using the completed building.
What is a happy life to you?
Living on a beautiful beach, where me and my family play volleyball and drink coconuts. And me designing the beach village.
What does a regular day look like for you?
Breakfast with kids – architecture – dinner with kids and girlfriend – varied evenings.
Tell us about your dream project.
The beach village.
Who is your favorite designer?
How would you describe your style?
Contemporary and balancing. 21st-century equilibrium.
What inspires you?
Complexity and clarity.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Delirious New York, by Rem Koolhaas. It was there on the right moment, and opened up my mind.