Meet… #17 | Dennis Berger

In the series ‘Meet…’, GROUP A employees respond to a number of questions about their work. Dennis Berger graduated from the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture on a study on urban housing with spaces to meet, stay and play. At GROUP A he has worked on the Metro Oostlijn and is currently involved in both housing and office projects.

I knew that I wanted to become an architect when
I think I was 22 years old. I studied interior architecture at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and came to the conclusion that I wanted to have more control over the built environment. After completing this course, I went to the academy of architecture.

As a young boy, I wanted to become a carpenter and work with my hands. It was the process of building something that fascinated me. Now I am on the other side of the table and provide the drawings to the carpenters. The building process has remained, I only do it using someone else’s hands.

A building that has impressed me a lot
The Diagon Dwellings of Herman Hertzberger in Delft. With this design, Hertzberger broke with the traditional concept of a family home. He built a frame with split levels around a void and left it up to the residents to arrange the space according to their own lifestyles. Because of the playfulness of the spaces and the interesting sight lines, I find it a very fascinating spatial concept.

The quality of which I am most proud is
That I’m totally committed to a project. I want to know and find out everything, even if it doesn’t belong to my field of expertise. I use all this information to make good choices, both aesthetic and pragmatic.

When a project is finished, I’ll let it go and move on or
I can’t let go of a project easily. I am always looking back to see what could have been better and where we could have taken a different direction in the process. But if something is really good, I can look back and enjoy it for years.

The best material to use in a design is
Timber!!!! That’s a great material with endless possibilities. It is visually attractive and feels good.

If I want to relax then I’m going to
Build. Making something with my hands gives me a lot of satisfaction. I prefer to combine the process of making something with enjoying a craft beer.

This GROUP A project I want to show to my children
The Metro Oostlijn in Amsterdam, the renovation of 16 metro stations. I have been working on this project for years, the last few years together with the contractor. The spatial interventions we made there work well in practice and they contribute to the use of the metro stations. That’s something I want to show to my children.

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