Over the past decade, One Architecture has worked prominently on the Netherlands’ spatial planning. Initially for private clients, One helped develop the project for Schiphol at Sea and, in a series of studies for the Consortium Transrapid, ‘Randstad Round’. In the past years, One has worked on the majority of the national government’s most important planning projects. More recently, One has worked on projects for the German federal ministry, as well as withing the framework of Delhi 2050 and RebuildbyDesign.

VROM (The ministry of spatial planning) has commissioned One Architecture, in combination with Zwarts & Jansma Architecten, to design the Olympic Main Infrastructure for the Netherlands for the Games in 2028. The OHS approaches the spatial assignment related to ambitions in the field of sports, economy, sustainability, welfare and society.
The core of the advice is that the Netherlands are basically too small to organize the Olympics. It is spatially small. It is organizationally fragmented. It is mentally small. How to plan big in a small country?
There are two ways to handle this. The first is to force the compelling scale of the Olympics, and the second is developing flexibility and cleverness based on this smallness. The tension between these two dimensions was detected continuously while working on the OHS. The question is whether the focus should be on the Olympic Games or on the Olympic Plan. Between a focus on the candidate cities Amsterdam and Rotterdam or on their environs. Between planning policy starting with the OHS or with the OHS following spatial policy. Between the IOC guidelines and pro-actively working to change these, in a form of ‘agency’. Between concentration and distribution of functions (it might be argued, following Frieling, that this tension is the basic tension in Dutch planning of the last 6 decades).
The Olympic Plan, so the analysis goes, is a good way to deal with this tension, but fails from a planning perspective. The time-dimension of planning is much larger than the time-dimension of building support. In planning, we don’t have time to lose. The result of One Architecture’s work is the invention of a mechanism to deal with this tension in the field of spatial development. A method of planning is being proposed in which, starting from a wide scope plans are increasingly focused: rather a road map than a design. This results in a way of planning in which public discussions, innovations, change and unforeseen developments can find their place, not by changing the plan but by defining moments of choice and decisions in order to focus the plan more and more. Those moments also create the politically very important ‘exit’.

Within Randstad 2040, the Structure Vision on the development of the Randstad that passed the Dutch cabinet in 2008, Matthijs Bouw initially led the theme ‘networks’, in which One produced a number of alternative scenarios for infrastructure (and tied them to the spatial choices that each demanded). The purpose of the models was to be able to talk about the functionality of the Randstad and the positioning of program and infrastructure. Clear definitions of the models and simple names were chosen deliberately, in order to be able to reach a wide public.
Subsequently, Matthijs Bouw was studio-master of the ‘integration’ studio, where the findings of the two other themes (housing and landscape) where integrated in order to provide a clear set of choices for the involved ministries.
The whole process was followed by an exploration of the so-called Randstad Key Projects following from the Structure Vision. The exploration of these projects (done with O.M.A.) has resulted in the publication “Differentiëren, Calibreren en Integreren Ontwerpende verkenning naar sleutelprojecten in het kader van de Structuurvisie Randstad 2040”. One’s research showed that a central issue in the definition of the key projects was the redefinition of the central government, which had been watered down by two decades of decentralization and liberalization. It is better to differentiate between types of projects and, in the interest of regional area developments, to stimulate the relationship between the central government and regional government based on the market principle of quid pro quo. The report followed this advice up with the actual definition of key projects.

For a consortium of ABN AMRO, Siemens and two developers, One did the integral planning for the introduction of a MAGLEV system in the Netherlands.
The basic premise was that the system characteristics of Transrapid make it the perfect infrastructure for the conurbation known as the ‘Randstad’. With HST speeds but the acceleration and deceleration of a metro, it could tie together the existing city centers and the new developments along the highways, circling the Randstad with 11 stops in less than an hour.
One (initially with O.M.A.) offered strategic advice, developed a spatial strategy and the calculation of real-estate potential on terminal locations and terminals. Subsequently, One designed the concept and produced the visuals for the communication strategy.

In 1998, Matthijs Bouw and Donald van Dansik visited Siemens to discuss their ‘Airport in the Sea study’ and the potential that separating Terminal and Tarmac by means of the Transrapid hold for the Randstad.
Out of these discussions, the plan was made to use Transrapid as a metro system for the West of Holland. ‘Rondje Randstad’ will contract the Netherlands in time, making it a metropolis, while allowing for extensive green spaces.
Since then, the idea has taken hold. One Architecture has worked for a number of private and public clients on such diverse aspects as studies for new centers, real-estate potential, traffic chain management, terminal layout, marketing concepts and, in 2002, the supervision of the national design for the Delta Metropolis. In this Design Studio Deltametropolis One developed the format of a design studio, assigned various design teams their briefs, engaged the different stakeholders, organized the external expertise and reported on the findings.