Open Architecture Lecture: Willemijn Wilms Floet

EKA suur auditoorium A-101

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In connection with the Delft University of Technology architecture course in Tallinn and EKA, Dr. Willemijn Wilms Floet gives an open lecture about Hofje – the type of building common in the Dutch cultural space, on October 12th at 18:00 in the hall of EKA.

The lecture unravels the secrets of the Dutch Hofje: how to direct the urban atmosphere; what can we learn about collectivity; how is this tradition taken forward by architects reflecting on the archetype and contemporary societal conditions?

The Dutch Hofje – a hidden green intimate courtyard enclosed by repetitive houses for singles – is a very inspirational typology for those working on sustainable social inclusive and green urban living environments.

In contrast to courtyards that were part of, for example, monasteries or speculative exploitation buildings, which were only built in a certain period, the architecture of charity hofjes effortlessly survived the late Middle Ages, the early capitalist era, the Enlightenment and the era from the industrialization period to the development of the post-modern service society. Up to the present time, dominated as it is by neoliberal ideas and market forces, the hofje remains a source of inspiration for (social) housing.

The hofje is deeply rooted in Dutch culture and therefore in Dutch collective memory. Time and again, it is put on the table by not only architects and policymakers, but also socially committed property developers or developers of luxury projects, because of all the positive connotations that surround it.

Dr. Willemijn Wilms Floet, assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology is teaching and researching how to make city out of buildings.

She developed her expertise in the documentation and analysis of architectural projects, notably: A Hundred Years of Dutch Architecture (Dutch 1999, English 2002, Chinese 2009). In 2009 she was involved in the organization of the exhibition ‘ From Berlage to Koolhaas_ a hundred years of Dutch Architecture’ in the CAFA Art Museum Beijing. Willemijn is the co-author of the Zakboek voor de Woonomgeving (2001) and editor of Het ontwerp van het kleine woonhuis (2005) and Architectuurgids Delft (2011).

Willemijn obtained a joint PhD degree Villard d’Honnecourt from Venice Faculty of Architecture (IUAV) in 2012 and TU Delft 2014. This architectural study on the Dutch almshouse typology reveals the secrets of green courtyards hidden within the perimeter block, by means of drawing. This resulted in two books ‘Het Hofje Bouwsteen van de Hollandse stad, 1400-2000’ (2016) and Urban Oases; Dutch Hofjes as Hidden Architectural Gems (2021).

Within the global community of the Faculty of Architecture Delft University of Technology she is a leading figure in carrying on the Delft method of plan analysis in-form-ing design, relating knowledge and creativity.

Since 2021 she is initiator and leader of the research programme Architectural Pedagogies at the department of architecture, building a broad platform to reflect upon design education.


The open lectures are intended for students and professionals of all disciplines, not just the field of architecture. All lectures take place in the large auditorium of EKA, are in English, free of charge and open to all interested parties. Be there!

Within the framework of a series of open lectures, the Department of Architecture and Urban Design of EKA brings to the audience in Tallinn every academic year about a dozen unique practitioners and valued theoreticians of the field. You can watch lectures from previous years on YouTube or

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Posted by Tiina Tammet

Architecture and Urban DesignFaculty of Architecture AdmissionsEventsOpen Lectures