Dutch architect Wiel Arets will take the helm as dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture this fall, the university announced yesterday. Arets’ appointment falls in line with the university’s long lineage of modernist-minded leadership, spurred by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who famously ran the school’s architecture program from 1938 to 1958 and designed much of the campus.
Arets, who is widely regarded for his sleek and minimalist geometries, has an active design practice with offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Maastricht, and Zurich. He has a slew of high-profile projects in the pipeline, including the Allianz headquarters in Zurich and the Ijhal Centraal Station in Amsterdam. The number of projects (and offices) naturally raises the question of how Arets will run a school with so much going on. (Arets, who is traveling in India, could not be reached for comment.) “He will be spending a good deal of time in Chicago, so we are looking forward to that, but we are obviously conscious of the fact that he has a thriving practice in Europe and around the world,” says Jeanne Hartig, IIT’s vice president for marketing and communications. “He is internationally acclaimed, and we expect him to practice here and around the world.”