BEING CREATIVE, inspiring the community


Francine Houben, Founding partner, Creative Director and Architect in Mecanoo Architecten

“People, Place, Purpose”. The library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham designed by the Dutch architects firm Mecanoo, opened its doors September 3 2013. It is the largest public library in Europe, an open building, welcoming everyone regardless of background or age.  Francine Houben, creative director and founder of Mecanoo will present her vision and design philosophy behind this project which she fondly characterizes as a “People’s Palace.”

About Francine

Francine Houben is one of Europe’s most active architects. She lectures all over the world and takes part as a jury member in many prestigious competitions. Francine Houben has realized internationally acclaimed projects in Europe, Asia and the U.S.A. She directs her Mecanoo team with the ambition to design buildings with a strong respect for context; physically, historically and environmentally.  Francine’s contribution to the profession of architecture is widely recognized. She was granted lifelong membership to the Akademie der Künste, Berlin in 2010. In 2008, she received the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award.  In 2007 she was appointed as visiting professor at Harvard.


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