The son of a clockmaker, René was schooled in fine detail and precision from an early age.

Growing up in Boxmeer, a city in the southeast corner The Netherlands, René helped his father in an assortment of tasks related to clocks, watches and jewelry. Assembling, disassembling, fixing, cleaning. This kindled an interest in designing and creating things beyond the family trade.

René’s initial exposure to the construction industry came from an uncle who was a builder, and another who was an estimator. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from HAN University of Applied Sciences and held an internship as a carpenter.

With training and experience in the E (engineering) and C (construction) components of the A/E/C acronym, René decided he wanted to pursue the A (architecture). He worked for three-plus years as an assistant project architect in Dublin, Ireland, before crossing the pond to a Manhattan-based, Dutch-American firm.

Eventually he wanted to gain an advanced degree in his chosen discipline, so René returned to The Netherlands and earned a master’s degree from Technical University Delft, the third-ranked architecture school in the world according to QS Top Universities.

Following jobs in The Netherlands and Latvia, René returned stateside and joined RGB Architects in Providence, Rhode Island. But this time, he made the transition with his new family. René had met his then-future wife, Kimberly, a Connecticut native, during his stint in New York City. Together they welcomed a son, Pieter, when they lived in Latvia.

René brought a diverse portfolio of work to Centerbrook when he joined the firm in February 2018. He was the head draftsman and site architect on a seven-story, mixed-use development located in a Dublin suburb; he was the assistant project manager for programming the high-profile Eastern Docklands development in Amsterdam; and he assisted in a contemporary concept design for an 18-story office tower in The Hague. At RGB he was the project manager for a job at the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.

In his spare time, René has a special interest in housing the homeless, a cause he picked up in Dublin and carried on in New York and Providence. He once helped build mud houses in Mozambique with Samaritan’s Purse, and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.