Riek Bakker advies portret

 

"After high school I wanted to go to the Rietveld Academy to become an interior designer. In order to be admitted at the Academy, I had to do an exam. So I prepared myself  as much as I could in my own way. I got myself familiarized with architecture  all around . At home I was allowed to do some small  reconstructions and to redecorate a few rooms; my mother was not only fine with that, she enthusiastically took part of it. I never made it to the Rietveld Academy. I had to picture a lady figure but wasn’t very successful. So I went to an institute for garden and landscape architecture in Boskoop. There I learned everything I needed to build my entire professional life upon. I also learned drawing. I was rather good at it, I found and still find it a wonderful thing to do.”

After her education Riek Bakker started at Bureau Zandvoort, an office specialised in urban architecture. An integrated way of working between different disciplines was founded here.
 

Later on she started her own office called Bakker and Bleeker, together with Ank Bleeker. They won a prestigious prize: the Parc de la Villette. In Rotterdam their work was a combination of urban planning, landscape architecture and public  site planning. During this time, participation became of great importance to Riek Bakker, which still is the case nowadays.

In 1985 the city of  Rotterdam asked Riek Bakker to come to work as director Urban Development. It didn’t took her long to decide. Under guidance of Bram Peper, the New City Rotterdam was founded; there was plenty of room for spatial and economic development of the city. The so-called Kop van Zuid was tackled; something which was impossible before. In addition to her technical knowledge and expertise, her experience in dealing with political and administrative parties, she put in her key word: participation. Participation of the people  from the Kop van Zuid.

The results of this massive collaboration were fantastic with the Erasmus Bridge as an absolute highlight. Years later, on King’s day 2015 mayor Aboutaleb rewarded Riek Bakker with the Knight in the Order of Oranje Nassau (‘Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau’, motivating: "Without you, Mrs. Bakker, the Kop van Zuid and the Erasmus Bridge would  not exist."

Later on she founded BVR Riek Bakker, working nationally. She became known for her commitment, dedication, persuasiveness, fearlessness and unique mode of action. An authentic bridge builder. She wrote books, did countless lectures and became a professor in Eindhoven teaching students her integral way of project and area development.

At present she works from her office Riek Bakker Advies on several  projects. Never alone, always together with employees of her clients, colleagues, citizens and government. Her starting point is and remains the same: gathering a group. Building on  trust.