We realize beautiful places to love, work, and play. Cities and buildings ready to face the future; healthy and safe, self-powered, regenerative, and inspiring to behold.
Since 1999 we develop exemplary sustainable cities, buildings, regions, neighborhoods, resorts, and islands. We guide the process from soaring vision to practical realization with solid science, engineering, design, and process management.
How do we achieve long term sustainable places? We use an integrated approach that combines science, engineering, business, social and environmental innovation. This takes into account challenges such as climate adaptation, employment, energy, and economic resilience .
The resulting strategies are derived from the local context, work better to serve local stakeholder' needs, and result in doing more with less. This allows for achieving better results, in a shorter timeframe, with less investment, that lasts longer.
To achieve this integrated approach tight cooperation with major shareholders is critical. Throughout the development process, stakeholders on various levels are involved intimately using cocreation sessions, managed by experienced facilitators. This approach saves developers and policy makers time, streamlines communication, and aligns vision, ambition, and requirements quickly.
The integrated process is supported by teams with a wide range of disciplines, covering the areas of science and research, design and engineering, as well as business development and project management. This allows for 360 degree solid projects that are innovative on one end, and realistic, feasible and manageable on the other.
This masterplan transforms downtown Shanghai into a fully sustainable community, in energy, food, water, and jobs, designed for Expo 2013. The plan strategically interweaves sustainable innovation with exciting urban design, and making it run with urban agriculture, sustainable technologies and vertical farms. The result is a valuable and beautiful urban community, an emergent circular economy, and a future-proof investment.
The Shanghai urban master plan demonstrates the Urban Renaissance approach on a specific site adjacent to Nanjing road, incorportating a historic Lilong housing district.
We developed a sustainabile conversion and development plan for the post-war social housing area Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam. The project provides a flexible and exemplary roadmap for converting the neighborhood into a self-sufficient and sustainable area. It applies innovative energy solutions, urban farming, social and economic programs, secondary currencies, and adaptive redevelopment strategies.
This project was commissioned by housing corporation Vestia and agricultural research network InnovatieNetwerk.
The San Francisco Transbay Center redevelopment project realizes the world’s largest rooftop park in the center of one of the world’s most exciting cities.
The concept, developed by Except together with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, restructures the existing transport hub in the city center. It features innovations such as water purification, air filtration, ecosystem services, improved biodiversity, and adds an exhilarating new green space in the center of the city. Biodiversity, health, and sustainability are key in this example of progressive urban renewal.
The project was started in 2006, we won the competition in 2007, construction started in 2010. It was renamed the 'Salesforce Park' in 2017, and set to be completed in 2018. You can follow the construction progress here.
How can public transportation contribute to resilient and sustainable cities and communities?
With a team of Public Transportation stakeholders and experts in the city region of Rotterdam we developed a vision on how this can be done. The vision came into being through several intense collaborative sessions, and is used to engage new stakeholders and move the agenda forward towards the most sustainable public transport system in the world.
Download the vision booklet below (sorry, only in Dutch).
This project arose from the joint desire of WWF and Lafarge to contribute original research to move the construction sector towards a sustainable future. We examined 11 exemplary urban districts and neighborhoods around the world from inception to inhabited, using a systemic and holistic perspective. We extracted the success and failure factors, and uncovered new strategies that accelerate sustainable development both on a project and building sector level.
The result is available in a comprehensively illustrated book, downloadable from this page, or read it online at ISSUU.
For Staatsbosbeheer (the Dutch nature management agency), Flevoland Province, and the municipalities of Almere and Lelystad, we developed a vision document for the future development of Oostvaardersplassen National Park in the Netherlands. The document offers a vision, mission, performance goals, and principles for a national park that will be internationally acclaimed by 2030 for its ecological sustainability, societal value, and economic resilience. A accompanying Inspiration Booklet introduces interesting practices from around the world to offer inspiration and specific ideas for actions to realize the formulated perfromance goals.
In Rakvere, Estonia, we developed the masterplan for the 671 Ha self-reliant Arkna Eco-Park. The park is built on a historical site tracing back to 1527, and becomes a primary tourist destination in the country, including a Polydome sustainable agriculture system.
We worked with Arkna Eco-Park to build a complete masterplan template for years to come, including its marketing strategy, identity, logos and brochures, closed loop metabolism, food system, event program, and design guidelines.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was born at Schiphol-Oost, over 100 years ago. Today it is a business park that could use more atmosphere and vision. With limited identity, it does not distinguish itself from other business parks in the surrounding area. In collaboration with Schiphol Real Estate (SRE), Except developed a vision and strategy for Schiphol-Oost for the coming 5 to 10 years. The vision transforms Schiphol-Oost to an innovation-garden for the entirety of Schiphol, named Pioneer Park.
Self-driving vehicles will change the urban environment drastically. The Self-driving City Research uncovers insights into the major changes, and how to adopt to them. Who will use self driving vehicles, what are their effects on the urban fabric, business, and on us all, the people? We show patterns and lessons learnt as well as five local in-depth case studies. All freely available below. The project is funded by The Dutch Creative Industry Fund, supported with knowledge from local governments, universities and industries.