Tenant in the spotlight
Andries Laane just finished a game of foosball. He has been a Kleinhandel tenant from the start and feels completely at home here. Since 1984, he was a partner in Villanova Architecten. When the other partners disbanded, he acquired the business. Now, he works with two other architects; his son Feike Laane and Henk Marsman.
‘Demolishing old buildings and constructing new ones is sometimes considered eco-friendly. In my opinion, that’s an upside-down world.’
Andries has a preference for renovating and transforming old buildings. ‘It’s satisfying to still do that in an energy-conscious way. That’s referred to as passive or energy-conscious renovations. That means that the building maintains its own warmth. We provide sufficient isolation so the building won’t lose any heat.’ He is opposed to the idea that others should compensate for his environmental footprint.
‘Demolishing old buildings and constructing new ones is sometimes considered eco-friendly. In my opinion, that’s an upside-down world. An old building has proven its worth and has a much longer life expectancy. These are exactly the buildings we should make optimally energy-efficient.’
‘I appreciate when people genuinely want to contribute to society.’
The human aspect of architecture
‘I also wanted to become a visual artist. At the Waldorf School, I learned how to sculpt, and that I enjoyed very much.’ But Andries changed his mind. As an artist, he didn’t want to continuously provide commentary on his environment, which for him is a requirement for relevant art. ‘To me it seemed like a major challenge.’
Andries decided to apply his technical and social skills and committed to architecture. Building is primarily something you do for society. ‘I appreciate when people genuinely want to contribute to society. Then it’s about a lasting contribution you are accountable for, over the rest of your life.’
Andries is interested in other people. That also influenced his decision to join Kleinhandel. ‘In a closed office, you get disconnected from the world around you. It’s the same with driving a car. That’s why I like to travel by train. You meet mainly young people; people that are entrepreneurial and full of life, but also people that are living on a tight budget. That way you stay a bit outside your own bubble and you are confronted with a world of mutual connections. It’s similar in Kleinhandel. That’s why it’s fun and inspiring.’
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