Daan Zandbelt new chief architect at AM
As of January 2023, Daan Zandbelt – urban planner, architect and partner at De Zwarte Hond – becomes area and project developer AM’s new chief architect. Zandbelt’s appointment is a follow-up to a successful architectural practice whereby AM tackles the challenge of developing innovative ideas and concepts for liveable, sustainable and future-oriented areas for living, working and leisure.
Seeing the issues with different eyes
Inspired by the chief government architect model, AM aims to further expand its position as a developer of innovative area and real-estate concepts, creating added value for municipalities, investors, corporations and other partners. Chief architects are always appointed for a period of three years. The first master builder was Hilde Blank (director/owner of BVR), who focused on AM’s active and qualitative role as an inner-city area developer. On the basis of research, her successor Caroline Bos (UNStudio co-founder and principal urban planner) developed, together with various AM people, panorAMa 2050: AM’s vision of the future of area development, in which major social issues are central.
For the next three years, Daan Zandbelt will combine his chief architect position with his role as a partner at De Zwarte Hond, a design agency for architecture, urban planning and strategy. Daan will advise AM strategically and company-wide in his position as chief architect. At De Zwarte Hond, he will remain involved in various area developments for other market actors and governments. Daan Zandbelt says: “As AM’s chief architect, I want to bridge the gap between market and government. I want us to explore how AM can make an even more important contribution to the various challenges society faces – from climate adaptation to equality of opportunity – by developing a more long-term commitment.”
Ronald Huikeshoven, chairman of the AM board, says: “We created the position of chief architect six years ago in order to challenge ourselves. We aim to be a leader in our field and to set the bar higher than may be asked or required of us. By looking at issues with different eyes, we continue to innovate and find solutions for complex inner-city and social challenges. I am therefore very pleased that Daan Zandbelt has decided to commit to AM for the next three years. Daan has many years of experience gained from his work on complex urban projects and in the past was also a government advisor on spatial and social issues. This is a perfect fit with AM as an area developer with a great feeling for society
Inventing and developing inspiring and sustainable living environments is AM’s passion. Together with stakeholders, AM works on the basis of conceptual strength, innovation and co-creation. AM sets the bar high when it comes to area development and gives substance to its mission on the basis of five core themes: Daring Sustainability, Inclusive City, Healthy Urban Living & Working, City and Area Maker and Happy Life. Inspired by these social themes, AM places particular emphasis on affordable housing and climate-positive area development. This, plus collaborating with governments, real-estate investors, housing corporations, social organisations, residents and other users, creates unique, high-quality areas for living, working, shopping and recreation. AM, part of Royal BAM Group, thus ensures quality of space and quality of life.