In memoriam Boukje Bügel-Gabreëls

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It was with deep dismay that we received notification of the death of Boukje Bügel-Gabreëls on 9 May 2020. Boukje studied Architecture at the Academy of Architecture. She was an extraordinary student; each student is extraordinary, but Boukje was unique.

She decided to do an architecture study later in life, after a successful career, in order to seek a new balance for herself. A balance between individual expression and creativity on the one hand, and social significance and engagement on the other hand.

In an interview, Boukje said, “If I graduate successfully, I will be 50 years old when I am allowed to register as an architect. And then you’ve got a long way to go still: you have to clock up so many hours as a designer. Will I still be able do that? Do I have enough time?’ For someone who had such a clear picture of what she was seeking, it’s terrible that she wasn’t given the time to find it.

Jarrik Ouburg: ‘During her study and her graduation project, she threw everyone with whom she collaborated, and who thought they had found some semblance of balance, off balance. Boukje wanted to design a care home designed from the perspective of a resident. The notes that her sister had written down on the edge of her bed during the first days after Boukje’s operation formed the starting point for her project, about the strange fears of the sterile room, the door that could open at any time without prior notice or the intolerable bed. Boukje leaves us behind with her questions. We will have to go in search of the answers, and a new balance.’

We are deeply saddened by her passing and we will remember her as an extraordinary and talented personality. We will miss her greatly. Our thoughts go out to her husband and children, family and loved ones.