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 built work includes multiple houses, interiors, and exhibitions. In 2021, he started his doctoral research into the subterranean architecture of banking in Switzerland between 1951 and 1980. Between 2018 and 2021, Ludo has been 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 the research projects Automated Landscapes and Financial Architectures, and worked on various exhibitions including co-curating MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio. Ludo holds a master degree in architecture from Delft University of Technology and a post-master degree from The Berlage.


Home of Capital
Het Nieuwe Instituut
July, 2021

Every day, the Instagram account Funda Makeovers shares a home whose market value is significantly boosted with the help of a few aesthetic interventions. Using the hashtag #ziedepotentie (‘see the potential’), it presents before and after images of apartments, floors and houses that have been posted twice within a year on Funda, the Netherlands' largest real estate platform. Stripped-down interiors undergo a restyling featuring herringbone parquet, steel window frames, and, ideally, black taps. These makeovers can be considered part of the phenomenon of 'house flipping', a popular practice among private investors. They buy dilapidated houses, renovate them using their magic box of stylistic products, and then sell them on immediately at a substantial profit. Funda Makeovers exposes a phenomenon in which the home is above all a home for capital.

Global investment firms are using an arcane financial formula to make huge profits flipping properties in local markets, as recently illustrated in the case of Rotterdam's Groot Handelsgebouw. This article unpacks the building’s financial architectures.

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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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*with Marten Kuijpers. Photos by Johannes Schwartz.

The Highway and the Country
The Berlage
Assistant Editor*
January, 2019

Fusce velit dui, congue vel leo in, elementum bibendum lacus. Sed ut ex id lectus tristique sollicitudin in eget odio. Donec imperdiet tincidunt est.
*edited by Salomon Frausto. Design by Joris Kritis. Contributions by The Berlage Generation 28.

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.