profile portfolio may 2011

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Selected works by architectural and urban designer Tim Aarsen (private work as well as collaborated work at VHP/SMV/Ruimtelab)


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    Living Landscape 1.0 (SMV)


    2011 d3 housing tomorrow


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    ProfileTim studied architecture at the Eindhoven University of Technology and graduated on the revitalization of the Hofplein Railway overpass in Rotterdam. During the course of his study he was the editor of the Chepos, a quarterly magazine on architecture, urbanism and engineering. He started his career at VHP architects and urbanists where he worked on several large-scale projects in Russia and a selection of competitions and research projects in the Netherlands. For a brief period of three months he worked on the prestigious Eko Atlantic project in Lagos, Nigeria for the engineering firm Royal Haskoning. In 2009 he switched to Studio Marco Vermeulen, a progressive research and design office based in Rotterdam. In the past two years he has worked on a variety of projects, including the masterplanning and concept development of large sustainable industrial areas, the design of an eco passage constructed out of tree logs, a 3D park, an urban infill block and the conceptualization and prototyping of water squares: an innovative concept for storm water retention in dense urban areas. Recently he has attended and tutored hree workshops in Brazil, organized by the NAi, Studio X (Columbia University NY) and the AA School of Architecture. In 2011 Tim moved to the United States to further pursue his career in architecture, urbanism and research.

    Professional and Educational Background05/2011 Exhibition Assistant at Architizer for Audi Urban Future Initiative: Project Manhattan02/2011 Volunteer at Brooklyn Museum for reOrder installation by Situ Studio01/2011-current Freelance designer at fetchit03/2009-12/2010 Architectural and Urban Designer at Studio Marco Vermeulen10/2008-01/2009 Urban Designer at Royal Haskoning 09/2007-02/2009 Architectural Designer at VHP s+a+l2007 Graduated at Eindhoven University of Technology, Faculty of Architectural Design and Engineering (Master of Science)2006 Assistant to Professor Jan Westra in a design workshop for master students03/2004-08/2004 Internship at Office Ruimtelab09/2001-08/2002 Chairman of the Study Association for Engineering students1998-2003 multiple student co-ships, ranging from teaching freshmen study skills, supporting the exposition committee of the faculty and organizing the information days for the faculty of Installation Technology1997-1998 CAD-course, BOCES Watertown, NY

    SkillsIn the course of his study and career Tim has obtained proficiency in a variety of presentation skills. His strength lies within the conceptualization of an idea, be it for a masterplan, a building or a public space. In order to present his ideas he uses sketches, models, 3D software (Sketchup, and recently Rhino/3DMax) but foremost he is experienced in using the Adobe software and AutoCAD. He enjoys working in a dynamic team and has excellent time management skills. He speaks and writes both English and Dutch fluently and knows comprehensive German and French. Tim has both the American and Dutch nationality.

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    Selected Projects

    Hybrid Design

    Concept Development and Research

    Sustainable Campus and Business Park Design

    Materials and Structures


    Lectures - Workshops - Editorial Work

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    Hybrid Design

    Architecture affects everything. It surprises, it fascinates, it plays, it mesmerizes. It can dictate if a space feels unsafe, eery or rather familiar and comfortable. It can make the difference between just another house or a place you can call home.

    There is no architecture without site. Urbanism and landscape design play a critical role in the success of a design. In architecture, and urbanism, I always try to relate to the human scale, the way the building or space is going to be used by its occupants or how it is perceived by its users. I investigate how the design will affect the surroundings, not just the environment, but also how it enriches the existing community. Architecture, urbanism and landscaping should collaborate in shaping the places we live and work in. They overlap, unite and confront each other.

    I strongly believe in the interdisciplinary approach of designing, diffusing the limits and boundaries of architecture, urbanism and landscape design into one integrated site-specific vernacular.

    As project leader for the Fargo Infill competition, I managed the design process. Besides being responsible for the design process, I also produced a vast amount of diagrams, visualizations and text for the competition panels. The APEC 2012 conference center design was a team collaboration involving program research, concept development, model making and visualization. A small team worked on this competition design for a sustainable residential tower. I coordinated the project and was responsible for all aspects of the design process including going to meetings with the client-developer.

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    APEC 2012 Congress CentreVladivostok, Russia

    preliminary design2008 VHP

    (render by Baihu Rendering, China)

    Sustainable HighriseAlmere, Netherlands

    competition2008 VHP

    Multi-functional City BlockFargo, USA

    competition2010 SMV

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    Using an perspective exploded view, the different layers of the urban infill block are revealed. The design was first modeled in Sketchup and retouched in Adobe Illustrator.

    In the Moscow housing competition I was part of the design think-tank, evaluating the proposals during team meetings. I also aided in the final visualizations for the competition entry. The Living Landscape concept was developed in-house and was later awarded with a special mention. Tasks involved 3D modeling, research, concept development and visualization. The strategy for revitalizing the Hofplein track and neighbourhood involved a series of seven architectural interventions.

    Multi-functional City BlockFargo, USA

    competition2010 SMV

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    Living LandscapesUnknown, Netherlands

    concept design2010 SMV

    Hofplein InterventionsRotterdam, Netherlands

    graduation thesis2007

    A101 Housing competitionMoscow, Russia

    competition2010 SMV


    2011 d3 housing tomorrow


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    The pilot project for the Water Square project involved design, visualization and other diagrammatic design tasks. Design together with Urban Affairs/Studio Marco Vermeulen. The Hofplein revitalization project studied a variety of relevant problems and issues currently existing in the Rotterdam Noord neighbourhood. The thesis is online at The Floating Communities project involved a vast amount of research into floating housing, water-based cultures and spatial organization of residential settlements. Tasks involved (physcial) modeling, research and constructing conceptual diagrams.

    Concept Development and Research

    The process of concept development is essential to any architectural and/or urban assignment. Thorough research, a theoretical background and site analysis will often lead to a variety of prototypes, typologies and models. In the course of my study and at the Dutch offices of VHP and SMV significant time was spent on concept development and research on the various levels of design. Often these two processes would be conducted simultaneously, creating interesting new ideas and perspectives on the designs. This form of a research-driven design process enjoys alot of design freedom and stimulates creativity and often leads to surprising results.

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    The Living Landscape concept was developed in-house and was later awarded with a special mention. Tasks involved 3D modeling, research, concept development and visualization.

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    Revitalizing the Hofplein trackRotterdam, Netherlands

    graduation thesis2007


    by the faculty of Architecture

    of the TU/e

    Floating CommunitiesRotterdam, Netherlands

    research2008 VHP

    Water SquaresRotterdam, Netherlands

    concept pilot project2008 VHP

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    In the Vladivostok conceptual masterplan project the team had to deal with a high pace, continuously changing design process. Tasks involved model making, program quantifying and visualization. In the Vnukovo project I was assistant to the project leader, responsible for spatial organization variations, quantifying and guarding the program, visualizations and instructing the interns. Presented in Moscow in summer 2008. The Sunrise Campus masterplan was developed in a short timeframe. Individual tasks involved volume studies, quantifying the buildings and developing the sustainability profile for the campus and its buildings. Design together with GroupA.

    Sustainable Campus and Business Park Design

    In the concept development of campus and business parks a strong focus is put on sustainability: closing the cycles of water, waste and energy. Secondly, spatial organization is the key to creating a succesfull park. Clustering volumes, wrapping contours and/or iconic spatial setups create appealing and sustainable working environments.

    Local aspects, morphology and availability of resources and modalities have to be taken into account. The result will be a site specific design.

    Within campus design it is essential to develop a spatial organization which clearly defines quality public space, deals