HOSPER in Sweden
HOSPER has had an office in Stockholm since 2006. The Swedish office is managed by Patrick Verhoeven and works in partnership with the office in Haarlem.
The agency's predilection for Scandinavian design culture dates back to the days when its founder Alle Hosper (1943-1997) was still a student. In 1968 he was awarded a Finnish grant and spent five months carrying out design research under the supervision of the architect Reima Pietilä. The loving precision with which the Scandinavian architects design buildings and urban development plans that respond to the landscape is an ongoing source of inspiration for HOSPER. The agency's fascination with wide stretches of water, its awareness of the possibilities that woods and water offer for residential landscapes, and its sensitive response to the context of the landscape are all evident in plans such as those for the island in the Zaan river in Zaandam, the water-rich residential landscape in Zuiderburen Leeuwarden, the sustainable De Egelshoek housing estate in Heiloo, the Masterplan for Meerstad in Groningen, the recreational area Heerhugowaard South and the design for the residential landscape next to the bypass of the river IJssel in Kampen.
The Swedish office is now introducing in Sweden the integral multidisciplinary approach that has been developed in the Netherlands over the last fifteen years. The open planning process that resulted in the Masterplan for Meerstad in Groningen is an example of this approach. Urban development is currently going through a major evolution in Sweden and increasing attention is now being devoted to rapidly growing cities such as Stockholm. The integral approach to landscape, urban development and architecture that is being implemented in the Netherlands is a revelation in Sweden. HOSPER has also introduced open planning processes and creative workshops in Sweden in light of the experience gained in projects in the Netherlands. Some of the subjects are still relatively new in Sweden but they are meeting with a positive response. Similarly, HOSPER continues to learn a great deal from Sweden, especially when it comes to the concept of society as a collective, the emphasis on shared facilities such as communal inner gardens, energy supply, sustainability and things such as childcare. Areas (such as Hammerby-Sjöstad) that have recently undergone a transformation in Stockholm have also been a source of inspiration for the Netherlands. The way that these projects manage to create a leafy residential environment for middle class families with several children in a densely populated city is of interest for many cities in the Netherlands.
HOSPER Sweden serves as the link in this exchange of knowledge between Sweden and the Netherlands. The staff who work in the Swedish and Dutch offices regularly meet up to collaborate on projects. This reciprocal exchange is extremely inspiring for all concerned. Patrick Verhoeven also lectures and teaches at the universities in Stockholm and Uppsala and is involved in various collaborative ventures with design bureaus, municipal authorities and property developers.