Robert joined Mei architects and planners in 2000 as a project manager and building technologist, became an associate partner in 2017 and a full partner in the firm in 2022.
Robert is Mei’s building technologist and has been a valuable addition to the team since 2000 with his specialisation – architectural detailing and sustainable construction. Robert looks at how a concept can be realised as smartly as possible. “I translate a concept into something that is easy to understand and easy to make. Then, I explain it to those who are building it and monitor it during its implementation.” He is the concept supervisor at Mei and has a fascination for technical solutions. Technology is always a means, not an end in itself. The aim is to create functional and pleasant ‘people buildings’. “Fenix I is a friendly building because of the space it offers for personalisation. It is a plea for living the way you want to live. It’s not the architecture, but the people dictate that.” Robert believes that ‘perfect’ buildings are soulless buildings. He, therefore, offers controlled space to make small mistakes: an approach known within Mei as ‘selective control’. It is this pragmatic approach that typifies the firm. “Our starting point here is: you just can’t monitor everything, so we focus on the most important aspects.”
The puzzle between form, function and details is what keeps him busy: designing until ‘something works’. It is no coincidence that he is also a BREEAM-NL expert with the Dutch Green Building Council, a committee member for Non-Residential Construction with SBR and a member of the BNA’s Technology and Regulation policy advisory committee. He is also happy to share his knowledge of construction technology as a guest lecturer and visiting critic at, among others, TU Delft, SBR and Bouwen met Staal.
“You can’t monitor everything, so focus on the most important aspects.”
Robert Platje lives with his wife and two daughters in a converted 1920s house in Schiedam. When he’s not working, he reads about history, psychology or theology, goes to museums or gazes at the moon and stars with his daughters through their telescope.