In Memoriam Jandirk Hoekstra

Photo: Hans van der Meer

Jandirk Hoekstra 1953-2024

Thursday, February 1st, brought us the news of the sudden and unexpected passing of our colleague and former director Jandirk Hoekstra.  We are stunned and in deep mourning. Jandirk was our great connector, both within our office and in numerous projects across the country. Always navigating between people and opinions in search of spatial quality and a ‘plan that works’. No one understood better than him that working on landscape quality is a collective and cultural endeavor, achievable only through close teamwork. He was a master in his field, a true ‘ateliermeester’.

Jandirk was actively involved as the leader of ‘Atelier Overijssel’, the ‘Werkplaats Zuid-Westelijke Delta’ and the ‘Atelier Kustkwaliteit’ and he contributed to the ‘Metropolitaan Kustlandschap 2100’ project in Belgium. Additionally, he served as the ‘ateliermeester’ of the ‘Projectatelier Groningen’, focusing on the spatial and economic aspects of the energy transition. From 2012 to 2017, he held the position of Provincial Advisor on Spatial Quality for North Holland. 

As part of the Leeuwarden European Cultural Capital 2018 program, he played a significant role in the Places of Hope exhibition and the associated ‘Veenatelier’. This offered a hopeful perspective for agriculture, water, recreation and nature in the Frisian peat meadow area.

In each studio, Jandirk collaborated with other designers, often young ones, providing them with a platform. He utilized design to facilitate discussions among multidisciplinary teams, predominantly non-designers, bridging differences. He emphasized the importance of creating a safe environment where people could think and speak freely beyond policy constraints, believing that only through this approach could a shared and innovative vision for the future emerge.

From 1999 to 2017, Jandirk served as the director of H+N+S, bringing much-needed professionalization to the business management of our agency. He drew inspiration from two main sources: music and landscape architecture. He literally and figuratively brought the music to our office with his enthusiasm and positive energy.

We are not alone in feeling his absence. Jandirk was a leading figure on many fronts in the field, from chairing the jury for the European Landscape Architecture yearbook to serving as a board member of the Landscape Triennial ‘Dynamische Waddendelta’ foundation in 2023. He also served as the intendant of the first edition of the Landscape Triennial in Apeldoorn in 2008 and was active in teaching as a guest lecturer at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam and as a member of the ARCAM Program Council.

In recent years, Jandirk dedicated his unique skills primarily to the IJ-Team and the ‘Spoorzone Tilburg’ quality team. Until last week, he remained an integral part of our agency, as a person, friend, mentor, and colleague.

A few years ago, Jandirk and his partner Sabine moved into a Stolp farm on the West Frisian Omringdijk, overlooking the North Holland polder landscape that he loved so much. His sudden death leaves a void that is difficult to comprehend.

Jandirk was buried on Friday, February 9, 2024 at the Nieuwe Ooster cemetery in Amsterdam at the foot of a beautiful mulberry tree.

H+N+S Landschapsarchitecten

Amersfoort, 7 februari 2024