Stef van Akkeren was educated at the Academy of Architecture in Rotterdam.
Before he started his own office in 1990, he worked with renowned firms as project manager / designer / architect and during that period contributed to the emergence of a multitude and diversity of projects throughout the Netherlands for 10 years.
Dissatisfied with the social and architectural quality of the urban renewal in the Hague
Adri Duivesten (alderman spatial planning and urban renewal) inatiated the campaign Urban Renewal as a cultural activity in the late 80's. Adri Duivestein wanted to achieve both an architectural and social renewal of urban neighborhoods. With this action Duivestein disassociated from the "production thinking" that had come to dominate the urban renewal in the Netherlands. As part of that campaign, the area Kraijenhoffstraat - Jan Blankenstraat (station district) was designated as a location where a number of 7 young architects could show their potential. They were invited to show their ideas for the designated area.
This was an extensive assignment for 200 homes with mixed facilities and a parking area. We were one of the seven agencies invited for this assignment. The plan was developed by Stef Akkeren in collaboration with Feite Broersma. Eventually the concept, planned by office Arne van Herk from Amsterdam, was chosen by a jury. The public presentation took place under the direction of Carel Weeber in the former council chamber at the Groenmarkt (in The Hague). The campaign was an important incentive for creative solutions in the field of urban regeneration, particularly instigated by young offices.
In his own practice Stef van Akkeren collaborated with the office of Charles Vandenhoven from Liège as a correspondent architect in the realization of a residential- and retail project with mixed parking spread over five locations in the station district in The Hague.
He has great appreciation for the architecture, craftsmanship, methods and projects of Charles Vandenhoven.
In particular the urban renewal project Hors Chateau in Liege demonstraties his great craftsmanship.
There is a quality of craftsmanship and precision that is just astonishing and remarkable.
This project is a "forgotten " icon in the field of urban renewal. It's a mix of restoration, renovation, new construction and parking seamlessly integrated and embedded in the old city center. The involvement of artists in his projects also deserves great appreciation.
In addition Stef van Akkeren realized (mainly in the Randstad area) a great number of varied projects with his own office and in collaboration with others. His office is located in the center of The Hague. He feels a great affinity with solving current inner-city tasks, such as strengthening the residential function, dynamic blending of urban functions and the transformation / re-use / intensification / upgrading / improving of private homes. Customization, personalization, short lines to the user and the feeling to be supported by the client are goals he pursues.