Powerhouse Company was founded by Charles Bessard (1970, France) and Nanne de Ru (1976, the Netherlands). Bessard and De Ru launched Powerhouse Company as a European firm, simultaneously opening two offices, one in Copenhagen, Denmark and one in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Powerhouse Company works on commissions that range from furniture design to architecture, planning and research, in the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Finland, Norway, Russia, Turkey and Cyprus. Their first projects such as Villa 1 and the Spiral house brought Powerhouse Company international acclaim.
Powerhouse Company is currently working on a wide range of projects, from furniture and yacht design, to villa’s, office buildings and urban planning. Powerhouse Company currently employs about 15 architects and designers in its two offices. Since every project requires a different output, Powerhouse Company takes special care in organizing the team that produces the input. Design teams are managed by the two founding partners and often in close collaboration with a wide range of externa consultants and advisors. Founded on an unique model of collaboration, Powerhouse Company has developed a distinctive attitude towards collaboration with other disciplines as well as other architects.
Charles Bessard and Nanne de Ru are active part-time teachers and have been guest professors at various institutions throughout Europe such as the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen, the Academy in Rotterdam (NL), the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam (NL), Aarhus University (DK), TU Delft (NL), l’Ecole Speciale d’Architecture (F) and AHO Oslo School of Architecture (NO). In 2009 Charles Bessard became a PhD-fellow at the Royal Art Academy of Copenhagen, where he is researching the consequences of the rising sea-water levels on the urbanization of Denmark. Since 2012 Nanne is Member of the Board of Directors of the Research Board of the Berlage.
Work of Powerhouse Company has been exhibited and published throughout the world. In 2008 Powerhouse Company has been awarded the Dutch Design Award 2008 for the category ‘best private interior design’, the AM/NAi prize for the best building by architects under 40 and the Prix Speciale for best office of Ecole Superieur d’Architecture in Paris. In 2009 Powerhouse Company was awarded the ’40 under 40′ award for best upcoming European practice. In 2011, Nanne de Ru was awarded the Maaskantprize for young architects. In 2012 Powerhouse Company won the Nykredit Motivation Prize. The office was shortlisted for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award 2009 and in 2011, the Chernikov Award as well as the Marcus Prize of Milwaukee Univercity, USA.