Martin van der Linden - Architect in Tokyo

Martin van der Linden

I'm an architect in Tokyo, Japan

Available for contracts

I speak English, Japanese, French, Dutch, and German

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My activity

About me

I'm a Dutch architect based in Tokyo since 1995. Before establishing van der Architects I have worked for the renewed Japanese architect Hiroshi Hara on the Kyoto station and Umeda Sky Building. In the mid-‘90s, I was employed by the Japanese office of Cesar Pelli, and then I became a design consultant to the Japanese Ministry of Education’s privatised architecture office (EFI) from 1997-1999. Teaching at Waseda University and Tokyo University of Science for around ten years, I established my own company van der Architects in 2001.
The aim of our company is to create an architecture where users have an authentic experience of space. Architecture is about movement and rest within space. We strive in creating immersive experiences of space. This is done through careful selection of materials, the tactility of space, the use of shadow, light and reflection, by inserting a variety of viewpoints, by taking dimensionality of the space and our mobility into consideration. An authentic space is not so much seen but rather it is felt. While working as an assistant researcher at Waseda University I developed a methodology called WorkVitamins which aims at creating an authentic experience specifically aimed at the work environment. Our clients share our believe that architecture, the creation of space has a strong influence on its users. As such our clients feel a personal as well as social responsibility that the spaces they commission us to design will help the well-being of the users of these spaces.

My Creations

  1. Orandajima House

    28 June 2016

    Yamada-machi is a town located on the central coastline of Japan’s Iwate prefecture. Its economy is based mainly on the fishery industry, with an emphasis on aquafarming seafood such as scallops, oysters, sea urchin and abalone. ere are also several small- and medium-sized factories in the mountainous regions. e total... continue reading (7, 0 images)

  2. The Design Barometer

    13 July 2016

    I made this video, as part of my One Minute Architecture series, about the challenges (mostly self-inflicted) that every creative person will recognise.

    The barometer was bought at a ¥100 shop, and I modified it to portray a more accurate picture of the ups and downs of the design process... continue reading (0, 0 images)

  3. I made a video about Donald Trump’s architecture. When you look online for Donald Trump most of it is about his political campaign, there is hardly anything on his architecture. Apart from the story about Andrew Tesero, an architect who never received his full fees for a project he did... continue reading (1, 0 images)

  4. Something about our logo

    22 February 2017

    Yesterday we added our sign, our logo to our building. This video explains the intentions behind the logo. This video is part of my ongoing series on Youtibe called One Minute Architecture. Making videos for me, an architect, is an alternative, rather clumsy and lazy way of avoiding to write... continue reading (0, 0 images)

  5. A sketch I made for one of my One Minute Architecture videos.

  6. Two drawings

    8 April 2017

    Actually one drawing and one copy with some pencil shading.

  7. Drawing Architecture

    16 May 2017

    I made a video about architecture and architectural drawing. Some architects that are featured in this video have hardly or never build anything and are labeled "Paper Architects". This, I think is a rather unkind label. Architectural drawings is an artform in itself. Have a look at the video and... continue reading (0, 0 images)

  8. What is architecture?

    18 June 2017

    A kind of a manifesto video of 20 points of what I think architecture is.

  9. The Bubbles of Naoshima

    18 September 2017

    The Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nihsizawa or Sanaa recently completed a new ferry terminal at the island of Teshima. A pavilion-boat terminal - bike shed - rest-stop made of a wooden frame over which FRP spheres are wrapped
    I think the project works very well on this small... continue reading (0, 0 images)

  10. A One Minute Architecture report on my visit to Nani nani, a building by the French stand-up comedian Philip Starck.

  11. Reading Freud’s totem and taboo.

  12. The dog and the architect

    17 December 2018

    A  (pseudo) psychoanalysis of the Swiss - French architect Le Corbusier

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  13. Sketch for new years Card 2019
  14. It's been a while but here's another One Minute Architecture video, about Torii, gates at Shinto shrines.

  15. New 2W office

    30 August 2019

    We designed the new Tokyo offices of Wallenius Wilhelmsen. This is a view of their meeting room.

  16. Kyoto Station

    29 January 2020

    I can't believe it was 28 years ago that I first came to Japan to work! Recently I visited Kyoto and made another One Minute Architecture video of the Kyoto station. I worked mainly on the space truss of the entrance canopy.

  17. A new series on Youtube in which I try to unravel the mystery of the fact that there are so many famous Japanese architects.

  18. Second video in this series in which I try to unravel this mystery.

  19. Part 3 of this enigma.

  20. Part 4 of the series

  21. Last episode in this series

  22. A visit to Sou Fujimoto's fascinating Tokyo Apartment.

  23. This is a new office renovation project that we recently completed. The project is located in a building in which the owner transformed a former gym into rentable units which gave rise to a rather unusual space. In this video I explain the process of transforming this space into a... continue reading (0, 0 images)

  24. Another video I made with ideas why I think my sketchbooks have helped me in my creative process. If you like these videos please subscribe! I noticed most of the views come from non-subscribers.