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interview ISSN 2175-6708


Entrevista com o arquiteto holandês N. J. Habraken; sua teoria de Suportes é explicitada alinhada com a abordagem do movimento Open Building. Objetiva-se entendê-la em prol da sua possível aproximação com o contexto da arquitetura contemporânea brasileira

Interview with Dutch architect N. John Habraken; his Supports’ theory is made explicit aligned with the approach of the Open Building movement. It aims to understand it in order to make it possible into the context of Brazilian contemporary architecture

Entrevista con el arquitecto holandés N. John Habraken; su teoría del Supports se explica en consonancia con el enfoque del movimiento Open Building. Su objetivo es entender el posible acercamiento al contexto de la arquitectura contemporánea brasileña

how to quote

NASCIMENTO, Denise Morado. N. J. Habraken explains the potential of the Open Building approach in architectural practice. Entrevista, São Paulo, year 13, n. 052.04, Vitruvius, dec. 2012 <>.

N. John Habraken

Habraken, a Dutch citizen, was born in Bandung, Indonesia in 1928. He received his architectural training at Delft Technical University, the Netherlands (1948-1955). Author of 'Supports, an Alternative to Mass Housing' (1962), Habraken proposes the separation of 'support' (or base building) from 'infill' (or interior fit-out) in residential construction and design. From 1965 to 1975, he was Director of SAR (Foundation for Architects Research) in the Netherlands, doing research into and development of methods for the design and construction of adaptable housing. Appointed professor at Eindhoven Technical University, 1967, to set up its new Department of Architecture and serve as its first chairperson. Appointed Head of the Department of Architecture at MIT, Cambridge, MA. 1975-1981. Taught at MIT till his retirement in 1989. Remains occupied with Methods and Theory of architectural and urban design. Lectured on these topics worldwide and is the author of a number of books, research reports, and many articles. Served in a partnership for the invention and development of an infill system for residential construction, from 1987 till 1997. Recipient of the 1988 Creative Achievement Award of the Association of Collegiate Schools in the US; the David Roëll prize 1979 of the Dutch Prince Bernhard Fund, The King Fahd award for desing and research in Islamic Architecture, 1985-86, and the Oevre Award for 1996 of the National Foundation for Art, design, and Architecture.(BKVB oevre prijs) in the Netherlands. Honorary member of the Architectural Institute of Japan. Knight of the Royal Order of the Dutch Lion 2003. Recipient of the 2003 “Kubus for advancing the standing of Architecture”, by the BNA, Dutch Association of Architects. His book, titled: "The Structure of the Ordinary", published in 1998 by MIT Press, is an investigation of laws governing built environment as revealed by patterns of transformation. Doctor Honoris Causa from the Technical University Eindhoven 2005. His most recent book: “Palladio’s Children” is an attempt to explain why architects do not know how to deal with everyday environment. Habraken is presently working on a new book on “Thematic Design Plays” which is a revision and extension of the exercises he did in MIT course. Presently lives in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.

Denise Morado Nascimento

Denise holds a degree in Architecture and Urbanism by Faculdades Metodistas Isabela Hendrix, Master of Arts (Architecture) from the University of York, England and Ph.D. in Information Science/UFMG. She is currently professor at the School of Architecture, UFMG (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), leader of the research group Praxis (Práticas sociais no espaço urbano – (, researcher at CNPq, researcher at Observatório das Metrópoles, contributor of CIB W110 Informal Settlements and Affordable Housing and of W104 Open Building and Implementation comissions.


This interview was realized from dialogues between April to June 2012.


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original: english



052.01 Introdução

Entrevista a César Augusto Naselli

Omar Paris


Visita a Christian de Portzamparc

Maria Cau Levy and Helena Guerra

052.03 Introducción

Entrevista a Jose María Ezquiaga

Leandro Medrano and Manoel Doval


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