MERGENT is an architectural design studio based in Haarlem. We articulate the sensitivity, playfulness and sophistication that is necessary to develop architecture for the soul. We seek to define a type of architecture that celebrates the human experience, that re-sensitizes our senses and reflects the human spirit.
Our aim is to focus on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials, rather than on developing a set of stylistic mannerisms. We see the tension between pragmatic needs and formal, spatial innovations as the opportunity to create an architecture that is task specific and compelling to the human experience.
While we understand ourselves as a studio with a focus on architectural design, we position ourselves as creatives at heart that see through architectural lenses. Motivated to tackle social issues through design, we often seek solutions that blur the boundaries between architecture, art and science. Regardless of the final design output, be it an art installation, a product design, or an architectural interior, MERGENT creates solutions and experiences through the eyes of an architect.
Jack S.C. Chen (TW/USA, 1976) had gained international work experience working in architectural offices within Unites States and The Netherlands for the last 12 years. In 2009 he founded Finesse Architecture , a research & design studio based in Amsterdam. Passionate about blurring the boundaries between architecture, art and science he continues to critically examine and adapt his own design processes. In addition to his professional practice, he obtained a Masters of Interior Architecture degree at Sandberg Institute in 2012. The two year study not only gave new layers to his research practice, but redirected a fascination for architecture as a medium for social engagement.
Dennis E.A. Schuivens (NL, 1979) has worked as designer developing interiors and furniture since 2005. Originally starting as autodidactic designer, he has worked for several architecture studio’s in The Netherlands before finishing his Masters at Sandberg Institute (‘Studio for Immediate Spaces’) and joining forces with Chen at Finesse Architecture. He has over 8 years experience in designing for clients in education, healthcare and hospitality and a strong kinship for modular design, sustainable material and energy neutral building concepts. Over the last two years of his study he has forged his own unique process towards urban investigation. Positioning himself to mine the potential of the site, he works to realize space as a social construct.
With the intention of creating a new symbiosis between the two designers, Jack and Dennis have started MERGENT since September 2014 as their new design practice.