About Aat Vos

“People are progressively shutting themselves off from the rest of society by hiding away in the comfort of their own bubble. As people withdraw from one another, the divide between the haves and have-nots continues to grow. We can bridge this gap by programming the public space.”

As a creative guide, Aat Vos is dedicated to reviving the public domain. He evokes social change through the design of third places. His multidisciplinary approach combining architecture, marketing, design, and communication makes him a great source of inspiration for a wide variety of clients like governmental organizations, municipalities, libraries, and many more.


Ray Oldenburg, an example to Aat Vos, talks about one’s home as the “first place”. The workplace – where people may spend most of their time, is referred to as the “second place”. Last but not least, “third places” are the anchors of community life because they facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.


Ray Oldenburg Ray Oldenburg Urban Sociologist

Third places include libraries, theaters, municipalities, cultural centers, and the like, but can just as easily also be commercial spaces. Aat Vos transforms these spaces in collaboration with local stakeholders; he builds a custom network as needed to create an attractive environment with appealing public programming. Like social cement, his method of working and the resulting projects connect people. Ultimately, it’s not all that much about the place or even what it looks like – it’s really about the people.

Why is it important to revive the public domain, you ask? Third places act as tools for localism; whether a space seeks to retain its cultural identity, stay relevant, or give something back to the community. A sense of belonging is a basic human need – third places meet this need by providing inclusion, both spatially and socially.


A true creative guide provides inspiration in the form of motivational speeches with fresh insights. He’s a facilitator who bridges opinions and ideas, and models these into a vision that is supported by the majority. A creative guide has seniority, yet he’s flexible and open to working with any team. Aat Vos leads design workshops to help clients discover sustainable solutions that meet their needs. Besides being a speaker, he is the author of 3rd4ALL – How to create a relevant public space.

Aat Vos on Stage

The right balance between physical elements like context and content, and non-physical elements like communication and competencies, is what makes public spaces a success. Aat has distilled the essence of this balance in his concept of The Butterfly Principles of Design for Programmability.

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With a firm understanding of organizations and their processes, Aat Vos is a sparring partner that helps organizations make sure their way of working matches the character and goal of each space. With a hands-on approach he offers inspiration, orientation and guidance. Oh, and also space for some fun.

Ready to embrace the third place?

Meet the man, contact Aat Vos.


Working with unique and talented individuals is a privilege. Coming together to create exceptional spaces is always an amazing experience, with tangible results. Every project is special, but some become more special than others.
With sincere gratitude to our clients, who made our work possible, we hereby present some of the awards we have received throughout the years.

Winner Oslo Public Health Award Biblo Tøyen 2018
Winner Norwegian Library of the Year Biblo Tøyen 2017
Winner Norwegian Lighting Award Biblo Tøyen 2016
nominee Belgium library of the year tielt 2014
nominee Belgium library of the year hoeilaart 2014
nominee Dutch library of the year ijsselstein 2012
nominee Dutch library of the year Stadshagen 2012
nominee Dutch library of the year lelystad 2009
nominee Dutch library of the year amstelveen 2009
winner Architecture prize H’meer FLORIANDE 2008
Winner Architecture prize drenthe Schuurhuis 2007
Winner European Library design Antwerpen 2005
Winner Dutch Library of the Year (VN) Amstelveen 2005
Winner Dutch library of the year Amstelveen 2001


Aat has been around as an architect since 1990, he has worked with many respected clients throughout the years. Regardless of the size of their organization, the level of their budget or the nature of their commission, it has been an honor to serve each and every one of them. aatvos proudly present a brief selection:


You don’t think of the things you don’t know, you need to connect with others to grow. If you know your partners, you don’t waste time searching. Our partners enable us to work more efficiently to create better solutions for you at a lower cost, but most importantly, to have more fun. We are thankful and proud to present you a selection: