Mei architects and planners is an enterprising, knowledge-intensive office that focuses on development and innovation in architecture. The office was set up in 1994 by architect Robert Winkel and is based in Rotterdam. Mei is particularly noted for transforming existing buildings such as the Jobsveem warehouse, Delfshaven factory and Fenix warehouses in Rotterdam. And it has completed striking new-build projects such as Schiecentrale 4B in Rotterdam, De Verkenner in Utrecht and McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 in Rotterdam. In addition, the office has drawn up urban designs that include dynamic master plans for Moss Verket in Norway, London in England and Nantes in France. The work of Mei has been widely published and received numerous accolades.
Mei likes to explore subjects in depth, and the designers on the team know all the ins and outs of building regulations. And thanks to his many years as a member of Rotterdam’s review committee for building permits, Robert Winkel possesses a wealth of knowledge about local authority design and planning policy. All this expertise forms an excellent basis for highly complex projects. Moreover, delving into history in order to ensure that proposals for renewal draw naturally on existing qualities is something Mei takes for granted. Demonstrating this approach is the rich variety of building transformations carried out by the office across the country, among them a number of projects to convert historic buildings that enjoy a protected status at municipal or national level. They include the renewal of listed monument Lijnbaan shopping precinct in Rotterdam, the Gouda Cheese Warehouse, the Jobsveem warehouse, and the Van Stigt Thans office.
In the area of technology, Mei offers architects space to embrace the challenge of inventing and developing creative solutions in the form of new products and applications. Examples include perforated steel sheets for a car park in Almere, and composite storage units and protective screens of woven stainless steel for the Schiecentrale 4b building in Rotterdam.
Above all else, Mei is interested in the people who occupy its buildings. What opportunities does the architecture offer them? What new prospects and potential for social interaction does it create? Designs by Mei focus on people. Through their spatial composition and circulation system, the buildings orchestrate encounters between people and thus act as catalysts for the community inside and outside the building.
A feature of Mei architects is the attitude of curiosity and openness with which the office deals with commissions, partners and contexts alike. To enhance its power of thought and action further, Mei enters into alliances with parties in the field. And the office likes to share the expertise it accumulates in the process. That is why Mei creates space not only for acquiring knowledge but also for imparting it through presentations, workshops, guided tours and guest lectures at universities.
Robert Winkel is the energetic figure who heads the Mei team of designers and experts. As chief designer, he is the driving force behind all projects at the office, and an enterprising and dynamic presence both inside and outside the office. He was one of the founders of Archined.nl, the first website devoted to developments in Dutch architecture. Another initiative of his is Intender.net, a website that publishes competition designs and architect selection procedures.
Mei is a Royal BNA chartered practice (Royal Insitute of Dutch Architects).
Former staff Ruben Aalbersberg, Frank Aarssen, Sander Andi Ganjoe, Unger Beerends, Daniel Beirão de Cavalho, Pepijn Berghout, Anne Berkers, Anja Biel, Hercilia Borges, Jack Bouwer, Nars Broekharst, Wim Bruneel, Hanneke Buurman, Ana Climent Dominguez, Hennie Dankers, Laurens de Boer, Louise de Hullu, Ernst de Jager, Woud de Jager, Martin de Jong, Ben de Lange, Alex de Ridder, Maurice de Ruijter, Eelco Dekker, Mark Dekker, Bianca Diaconu, Guido Dolné, Eugene Dumoulin, Judith Egberink, Kasia Ephraim, Theun Frankema, Danijel Gavranović, Zuzanna Gaszczak, Sander Geurtsen, Jeffrey Gilyamse, Inga Hilburg, Jack Hoogeboom, Frank Huibers, Serkar Jaff, Maarten Janszen, Katrien Joosten, Koos Keet, Naun Kim, Glenn King, Heidi Klein, Matthijs Klooster, Tim Knip, Leen Kooman, Gevorg Kootanjan, Rutger Kuipers, Paul Peter Kuper, David Lesterhuis, Roos Limburg, Richel Lubbers, Anja Lübke, Chris Luth, Jane Nagtegaal, Erich Oesterbauer, Farid Omid, Karl Oscarsson, Alex Pastoors, Riemer Postma, Jelena Radonjić, Rob Reintjes, Camilo Ridderplaat, Ronald Rijntjes, Sabine Roomer, Maxim Ross, Luca Sandri, Jos Schäffer, Anna Schneider, Florian Schramm, Menno Slijboom, Adriaan Smidt, Bart Spee, Meike Stoetzer, Duc Truong, Bernd Upmeyer, Joop van Beek, Carola van Bennekom, Mirjam van Dam, Gaby van den Boom, Eline van den Haterd, Ruben van der Plas, Lodewijk van der Veen, Lore van de Venne, Reinoud van der Zijde, Gijs van Duin, Iris Veentjer, Sebastiaan Veldhuisen, Erwin Verhoeve, Barbara Vermaat, Rudolf Verver, Dennis Vijftigschild, Martin Werner, Lea Wiederholdt, Joanne Wienk, Joost Woertman, Menno van der Woude, Michiel Zaan, Hagar Zur