The architect’s car

The architect's car - Porsche (Photographer: tonymadrid/Flickr)
Porsche 996 (Photographer: tonymadrid/Flickr)

It seems like all successful architects in the Netherlands drive a Porsche. For one of them, an Amsterdam-based architect who recently built his own office, the current economic crisis meant he had to sell one of his Porsches. Instead of two, he now only owns one. Also because of the crisis, he had to lay off about half of his staff. His newly built, four story office building now is largely unoccupied.

The twin architects that in their lifetime have built most of Amsterdam Airport, now have managed to be transforming all major railway stations in the Netherlands, this spring bought themselves a centerfold in one of the major Dutch architecture magazines to advertise their office. On the centerfold the architect’s office is shown with the architects and their staff having a party. In the far left corner two cars are parked, two 996 Carrera’s. At a closer look, the license plates of the cars prove to only differ one digit. You don’t buy one Porsche at a time, you buy two. With this crisis, the architects had to let some of their staff go too.

A couple of months ago I had an interview with an architect that earlier this year had went bankrupt. At that time he was trying hard to rebuilt his office. In front of the architect’s office building, an nineteenth century villa, an old Porsche Cayenne was parked. At the bankruptcy he had to let go all of his 165 employees. By the end of the summer he aimed to have rehired half of them.

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13 Comments

Thanks for the comments, Eero, Gasper and Kees. If there is any print or online magazine interested in publishing the interview with Erick van Egeraat in English, I would be happy to translate it. I didn’t know the two partners of Cepezed drive Porsches too. I am not sure Cepezed had to let people go too…

“By the end of the summer he aimed to have rehired half of them”…this is not correct since he only rehired half of his staff ONLY in Rotterdam. Before he went bankrupt he managed to let his staff work for him for two months without paying them any cent in the end…almost 100 architects without salaries. He also didn’t pay other costs like office spaces, taxes, insurances, etc. His company went bankrupt and soon he just started a new company with a slightly different name. That’s how you can keep your Porsche after bankruptcy.

Actually, that is true, Kees. A friend told me the partners of Cepezed have really been paid in cars for their design of the Porsche showrooms. I also hear despite the current crisis Cepezed is going strong.

Imagine you’re working for Lada and you’re client proposes something like that…

hello…i am an architect from lebanon–i really like porsche cars but i prefer to buy a mercedes instead (if i have money ofcourse..hhehehe)

lord Norman foster chose to keep his castle and chopped the berlin office… while no need to pay any tax by ‘ migrated” to switzerland… with his private jets… how inspiring?!
and those who worked for him before.. like me… paying us peauts and a ” laid-off” in the recession time for an excuse .. to employ much ‘cheaper” labours… how sad..

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