Small Enough to Be Public

Interview with Sjoerd Soeters

Without a doubt, Sjoerd Soeters’ work is among the most distinctive and most colourful in Dutch archi­tec­ture. His archi­tectural output appears to admit little nuance: you either love or loathe Soeters.

Opinion on his urban designs is less divided. Projects such as Java-eiland in Amsterdam, Haverleij near ’s-Hertogenbosch and Zwanenwoud outside Heerenveen have garnered wide­ spread admiration. The spatial contrasts in Soeters’ town plans are particularly striking. Working at various planning levels and within both an urban and a more rural context, Soeters has shown that he knows how to success­ fully mix private housing and public space. We spoke to him about the reactions to his designs, the ideas inspiring his work, his role models and the precon­di­tions for a successful link between public and private spaces…