Jan  Knikker

Jan Knikker

Partner | Director Strategy & Development

Partner and Director of Strategy at MVRDV, Jan Knikker (Bad Soden Taunus, DE - 1972) joined MVRDV in 2008. Prior to this, Knikker shaped OMA’s public image for nearly a decade, after having first began his career as a journalist. As Partner and Director of Strategy at MVRDV, Knikker drives Business Development and Public Relations efforts, spearheading a large and dynamic studio that also includes the office’s visualization capacity. He further leads the office’s branding efforts, and MVRDV’s expansion into new regions and typologies, by supporting the office’s ambition to generate solutions to global challenges through a multifaceted approach to architecture, urbanism, and computing.

Knikker regularly lectures at international, commercial, and academic venues in the USA (CTBUH), Germany (Polis Convention, Stiftung Baukultur), the UK (RIBA and the universities of Coventry, Liverpool, and Aberdeen), Israel (CTBUH, Technion, Bezalel), Colombia (Universidad Nacional, Utadeo), Australia (RMIT), Kuala Lumpur (UCSI), and many other notable venues. In addition to his extensive public relations work, Knikker has written and contributed to numerous MVRDV publications and exhibitions, including MVRDV Buildings.

Deputy Editor to Winy Maas of Domus 2019, he also regularly contributes to a range of design-field publications. He is a member of the HNI Heritage Network, and Gestaltungsbeirat of the City of Wiesbaden and led the online design magazine Dafne, and from 2007 to 2011 was a member of the International Projects commission of the Netherlands Architecture Funds. In 2021, he wrote and published RIBA-bestseller How To Win Work, a book bridging the gap between architects and marketing by giving practical tips, best-practice advice, and anecdotes for small architecture practices. Together with a neighbourhood committee in The Hague he lobbies for the reopening of the Canals of The Hague, which have been closed in the 60’s.

“We refuse to become specialists in just one thing; we want to have a very wide portfolio. So, we don’t dismiss small things. Our work ranges from concept kitchens to public buildings, large urban projects, and everything in between.” - Jan Knikker

  • Dutch Building Award, NL – for cable-net façade, winner Markthal, Rotterdam, NL

  • ESPA gold award – winner Markthal parking garage, Rotterdam, NL

  • European Property Award – winner mixed-use category, Markthal, Rotterdam, NL

  • 2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards - Finalist Markthal and Parkrand, Rotterdam, NL

  • Marketing Award Rotterdam NL - winner Winy Maas and Hans Schröder for Markthal, Rotterdam, NL

  • 2015 NRW Jaarprijs, winner Markthal, Rotterdam, NL

  • WATCH: Jan Knikker at IE University on how to win work

  • WATCH: Jan Knikker on rethinking typologies