Christa and Lars Courage set up their own architectural office in 2001 after winning the prestigious Europan 6 architectural competition in 2000. Before then, Lars was employed at various internationally operating architectural firms. After two years, both partners expressed a desire to move away from the western part of the country and head east. They decided to establish their own architectural office in Apeldoorn. COURAGE stands for creating contemporary, challenging, inspiring architecture, interiors, artworks and products that show daring, grit and commitment. They do so with a team of eight people.
Daylight and longing as design priorities
Lars: “We initially approach our designs by considering the aspects of daylight, perspective and the orientation of the site, elements which directly influence the success of our designs. The designs are developed from the inside out, with people playing a central role. Comfort and well-being are defining aspects. The influence of daylight on our body, opening positions, choice of sustainable materials, structural-physical behaviour of building-material combinations and the resulting energy-conserving installation concepts are considered, leading to a fully integrated whole. Other important guiding principles are the needs and, more importantly, the wishes of the building’s users (both private and business). Everyone knows that pleasant feeling of longing for something. This longing can be a wish for achieving a particular feeling or seeing a long-held wish come true.” “Giving shape to longing” is their motto.
Often this longing starts as a set of wishes or requirements or a collage of images. COURAGE helps transform these wishes into a concrete programme. Whether those wishes are functional, aesthetic, emotional or technical doesn’t essentially matter. The aim is to “capture the essence” of that sense of longing.
For many businesses in the region - and beyond - COURAGE has created iconic designs that make a strong statement about the business’ brand. A fine example of such a project is the corporate site of Krommenhoek Machinery. Whereas customers always visited the premises to see and inspect the machinery, today more and more products are sold through the website without an actual visit. According to Lars, “Our architecture instils a sense of trust in our client’s customers.” Another fine compliment came from the Cargo family business in Ugchelen. The Nestor of the family declared that his staff felt happier in the new building. The owner smiles and adds that employees at the new site spontaneously had fresh talent knocking on their door asking to work for them because the building was so stylish and contemporary. They didn’t have a clue what our business was actually about.”
COURAGE’s drive to produce remarkable designs hasn’t gone unnoticed over the years. Local and international newspapers and magazines regularly devote the necessary words and images to their creations. COURAGE likes to work with clients with exceptionally challenging needs. As Lars says, “That’s how we bring out the best in each other.”
Export countries: Germany and Belgium