NEXT architects is an architecture practice that covers the full spectrum of the architectural field. Since its earliest projects NEXT has explored the boundaries of its own discipline, and searched for areas that overlap with other disciplines. This attitude has resulted in a highly diverse portfolio that ranges from design products to urban plans. In December 2011, NEXT architects won the audience award in the Dutch Architect of the Year Awards.
The strength of NEXT lies in an open design approach. Every project starts with an intensive workshop, that determines the essence of the commission and associated design goals. As a result, they don't have a signature form but deliver original and innovative designs that answer to the full context in which the project was originated.
The redevelopment for two monumental canal houses for advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, winner of the LAi award 2010, is based on existing light shafts that connect the historical properties, while the design of ‘Het Groeimonument' was inspired by the existing status of location, which is a metaphorically speaking living monument. Both the projects Woudenstein, done with Mass studies Seoul, and the Melkwegbrug relate to their direct surroundings: Woudenstein is characterized by the horizontal continuity of the leaf canopies of surrounding trees. On the Melkwegbrug, pedestrians cross the canal by a high arch and stand a chance of a vista: the connection between the old and the new becomes perceivable here.
The Villa Overgooi project is the result of a close collaboration with 5 different families acting as a single client. On the basis of a number of workshops with the residents this resulted in five private accommodations with views in four directions, combined in one structure as if it were a 3D puzzle.
With their design NEXT aims to develop a surplus value. An illustrative example is the Forum Stair which logistically and visually connect all floors in the building, but also functions as a central meeting point for the company. In the hierarchical Chinese office culture, the stair places every employee in the centre of the office, at least for a single moment every day.