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Sector institute and the Architecture Biennale


The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) in Rotterdam is the national sector institute for architecture, urban development and the landscape. It is a museum, archive, library and cultural stage rolled into one. The NAi holds important archives and collections from Dutch architects from 1800 onwards, and makes them accessible to the public. As a sector institute it provides opportunities for research and offers a platform for discussion. Through exhibitions, lectures, debates and publications, the NAi aims to inform, inspire and stimulate both architecture professionals and the general public. In 2009 the fourth edition of the Architecture Biennale took place. The NAi is not the organiser of this event, but does play an important role. Unlike Venice, the Rotterdam event is primarily a research biennale.

The NAi is also very active internationally. The NAi provides the official national presentations for the architecture biennales in Venice and Sao Paulo and organises around twelve debates each year outside the Netherlands. It also carries out research and invites at least twenty professionals to visit the Netherlands for a few days each year. In this way the strength of Dutch architectural design is given a high international profile.