Government Architect

The Government Architect advises the Central Government Real Estate Agency on the architecture and urban surroundings of state-owned property, either at the Agency’s request or at his or her own initiative. As an adviser to the State, the Government Architect acts independently. The Office of the Government Architect, which is part of the Central Government Real Estate Agency, assists the Government Architect in his or her work.

Duties of the Government Architect

What do the Government Architect and his or her advisers do?

  • Select the architects who will design or renovate state-owned properties. [Link naar intern dossier aanbesteden en inkopen]
  • Investigate the functional use and potential redesignation of buildings and lands that the State no longer requires.
  • Select artists to produce works for new buildings or major renovations, based on the Art Percentage Scheme. [link naar dossier intern aanbesteden en inkopen]
  • Encourage the training and professional competences of architects within the context of the Architects Title Act (Wet op de Architectentitel).
  • Safeguard the architectural quality of government buildings and how they fit into their urban context.

The Government Architect is a member of the Board of Government Advisers.

History of the Government Architect

The title of Government Architect was established more than 200 years ago. The first Government Architect, Jean Thomas Thibault, was quickly assigned a far-reaching advisory role in construction-related matters in Dutch society. That role has since been expanded and reinforced. After 1957, the duties of the Government Architect shifted from producing designs to advising the Government Buildings Agency and central government in general on specific construction projects and offering guidance in broad public discussions concerning the discipline. In the past fifteen years, Government Architects Kees Rijnboutt, Wytze Patijn, Jo Coenen, Mels Crouwel, Liesbeth van der Pol, Frits van Dongen and Floris Alkemade (since 2015) have extended their advisory role by counselling the Dutch Government on such general matters as urban planning, heritage sites, architecture, infrastructure, architectural policy and the fine arts.