Ludo Groen is a doctoral candidate in the history and theory of architecture (gta) at ETH Zürich, while practicing architecture from his eponymous studio. His doctoral research, part of the SNSF-funded research project “Switzerland: A Technological Pastoral,” documents the architecture of Swiss banking before and after 1968.
        Between 2018 and 2021, he worked as a researcher at The Berlage at Delft University of Technology and Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Dutch institute for architecture, design, and digital culture. At The Berlage he was involved in the organisation of lectures, master classes, teaching, and various book projects. At Het Nieuwe Instituut, he contributed to various exhibitions and research projects, including Automated Landscapes, which will be published in the forhcoming book Automated Landscapes, documenting the emerging automated architectures of dairy farms, greenhouses, data centers, and factories, in the Netherlands and beyond.
        Ludo holds a master degree in architecture from Delft University of Technology and a post-master degree from The Berlage.


MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio
Het Nieuwe Instituut
November, 2021

The exhibition displays the MVRDV archive as a living entity in office spaces, rather than in museum galleries. As a working environment, the office is the place where ideas and projects move fluidly back and forth between present, past, and future. Comprising their first 400 projects, the MVRDV archive was acquired in 2015 by the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning at Het Nieuwe Instituut. It stretches across 76 metres of shelves and includes drawings, sketches, models, correspondence, photographs, and magazines – but also 3.62 TB of digital data. All have stories to tell. For this exhibition, we invited some of the less visible collaborators of MVRDV to share their recollections. From clients and engineers to former employees and interns, these recorded oral histories will join the archive and, thus, the writing of the firm's history.

Stucco Storico
Bureau Europa
Exhibition Design*
November, 2018

Plastic moldings, styrofoam ceiling roses, marble-patterned wallpaper: the ornamentation of today’s domestic interior seems more standardized and readymade than ever before. In fact, the apparent seriality we encounter today has always been there. The design of this exhibition questions notions of seriality and originality. Does an isolated vitrine turn any ubiquitous object into something original? Or do original fragile artifacts lose their uniqueness by exhibiting them in rows of identical vitrines; or even within a modular grid? What if originality can be found in the ingenious application of serially manufactured products? Hence, can ornamentation arise from a readymade material like gypsum board, originally colored to indicate specific characteristics like moisture– or fire–resistance?
*curated by Remco Beckers and Saskia van Stein. Graphic design by Hansje van Halem. Photos by Johannes Schwartz.

Health Care and Community Center

After declaring the end of the welfare state in 2013, local governments in the Netherlands embraced the concept of participation. Subsidies were granted to experimental design projects to be conceived in close collaboration with prospective users. A former monastery built in 1891 was renovated and transformed into a health care and community center, in which patients, medical practitioners and local citizens contributed to a design proposal, characterized by an alignment of historical and contemporary programs, proportions, and materials.
*participatory trajectory with Berit Ann Roos. Photos by Stijn Poelstra.

Solar House
May, 2014

When Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1940s published the Jacobs House II in the pages of the Ladies Home Journal, his objective was as ambitious as to set a model for ecological small, single-story dwellings. Often L-shaped to fit around a garden terrace, the model homes were characterized by the use of vernacular materials, canopies for natural cooling, natural lighting with clerestory windows for passive solar heating, and a strong visual connection between interior and exterior spaces. Though never adopted on a large scale after the fall of oil prices in post-war America, Wright’s model house reasserts its relevance in the context of the twenty-first century’s pursuit of sustainability. The principles of the Jacobs House II are readopted in the design of this house. Acting as a shell, its dark and rough timber skin shelters a sequence of bright refined interior spaces oriented towards the sun.
*with ORIGINS Architecture (Jamie van Lede & Jeffrey Mulder). Photos by Stijn Poelstra.

In the rationally ordered Dutch landscape, machines mirror the human dream of relentlessness. Out of sight, in the often unnoticeable and inaccessible fringes of cities, these meticulously designed automated landscapes constitute the epicenter of labor transformation. Yet, despite the apparent absence of human bodies—marketed as eliminating risks, unions, and failure—none of these operations and landscapes turn out to be exclusively automatic. In fact, all are dependent on the contingent interference of humans and other species.

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