In Memoriam Jandirk Hoekstra

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We received the intensely sad news of the sudden death of Jandirk Hoekstra, one of the three mainstays of H+N+S Landscape Architects. To say that Jandirk was a connector is an understatement. He connected people into groups. Groups that he, like no other, knew how to give a common direction and a common goal. Not by looking for the greatest common denominator or letting the course depend on 'support' but by making people feel safe and rowing together towards a beautiful result. He pretty much invented the term co-creation. He could only do that because he also stood for something. A man of substance, as it used to be called. With his infectious energy, he was active on many fronts of the profession. From the European Yearbook to supervision of the 'railway zone Tilburg', to the just concluded Landscape Triennial 'The Dynamic Wadden Delta'.

Jandirk Hoekstra was active in two worlds that both had his love: music and landscape. He spoke with equal authority about both and still toyed with researching the unexplored terrain of the connections between composition - his original training - and design. He wrote a fine finger exercise for this on the occasion of the BKVB fund's US trip in the book 'Leafing through the American Landscape'. His contribution, 'Looking with the ears', was a reflection on the composition 'Central Park in the Dark' by Charles Yves, who, in 1906, wrote a kind of soundscape following a walk through Central Park in which city sounds and sounds of nature merge.

His musical disposition, broad practical knowledge, and genuine interest in what moves people made him a much-loved design teacher. In teaching at our Academy, he was a coach, mentor and inspiration for many graduating students and a source of questions for successive heads of landscape architecture. The Academy community will greatly miss this passionate professional.

Dirk Sijmons, former head of landscape architecture.