Aart Oxenaar has been director of the Academy of Architecture since 1998. During that period, he has been of great value to the education and research of the Academy. Under Oxenaar’s management, the concurrent education model, typical of the Academy, has received new impetus thanks to, among other things, a consolidation of the contacts with the city and the professional field. Now in 2014, the Academy is strongly internationally oriented: it has a broad international network and offers a complete English programme to its students, a quarter of whom are from abroad. By appointing lectors for short periods of time, who tackle innovative and in-depth subject matter and make a connection with the current education, Oxenaar has shaped the research at the Academy in his own way. Other significant moments during his directorship were the complete renovation of the monumental 17th century Academy building at the Waterlooplein and the celebration of its hundred-year anniversary in 2008.
The quality of the education at the Academy of Architecture – the only educational institute that unites the three design disciplines Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture within its walls – was recently affirmed by an international accreditation panel, which assessed that the Academy ‘offers unique talents the chance to excel’. In recent years, the Academy of Architecture was the most successful of all Dutch design schools at prestigious prizes like the Archiprix and Prix de Rome.
Aart Oxenaar (1958) studied Art History and Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam. In 2009, he obtained his doctorate from the University of Amsterdam with a study of P.J.H. Cuypers and the Gothic rationalism. Oxenaar occupies various ancillary positions. He is, among other things, chairman of the Board of Advisers of Spatial Quality, Haarlem and member of the executive committee of Archiprix and Archiprix International, the Snellebrand Fund and of the editorial advisory council Ons Amsterdam.
Aart Oxenaar on his switch: ‘The Academy of Architecture is in good shape. Our students are enjoying success with prestigious prizes, our lecturers are notable designers, they work together in a beautifully renovated building in the centre of Amsterdam and our three Master’s programmes are continually assessed as excellent. I am proud to have contributed to that.’
Jet de Ranitz, President of the Executive Board of the AHK: ‘Aart Oxenaar has achieved a great deal in the 16 years he has been affiliated with the Academy of Architecture. Think of the renovation of the monumental building at the Waterlooplein, the introduction and development of the lectorates and the highly positive accreditation of the three Master’s programmes in Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape Architecture recently. We will miss his humour, his power to unite and his drive, always from the perspective of the content. At the same time, we are proud of Aart for taking this great step.’