Johannes van Tilburg

President, Van Tilburg, Barnvard and Soderbergh Architects, AIA

Dutch American Heritage Award 2007 Recipient

Johannes (Jan) van Tilburg was born Johannes Franciscus Pieter van Tilburg on March 1, 1942 in Nootdorp, The Netherlands. The eldest of six children, heis the son of the late Cornelus van Tilburg and Wilhelmina van Tilburg-Post, and an 11th generation architect/builder. A husband, father and grandfather, Johannes van Tilburg became an American citizen in 2007.

A graduate of the College of Arts and Architecture in The Hague, Johannes immigrated to the United States in1965 and founded Johannes Van Tilburg and Partners, Architects, AIA in Westwood, CA in 1971. This success led to the 1992 founding of Van Tilburg, Banvard and Soderbergh, Architects, AIA (VTBS, Inc.) In the same year, Johannes was elected to the college of Fellows, American Institute of Architects.

A nationally recognized pioneer in mixed-use urban design, land planning and the creation of livable communities, VTBS, Inc. employs nearly 100 people inoffices in Santa Monica, San Francisco and Denver. The firm has won design, planning and beautification awards from the AIA, building associations and local and state civic agencies.

Johannes was one of the first to design for, and invest in, Santa Monica’s fledgling Third Street Promenade, now a landmark of urban renewal and a redevelopment model for cities nationwide. He is a member of the board of directors of the Bayside District, a volunteer organization overseeing the Third Street Promenade.

Johannes is strongly committed to the greater Los Angeles community, to education and the arts. His firm designed the first AIDS Hospice in the City of Los Angeles, pro bono, for Barlow Hospital. Since 1993, he has served as adjunct assistant professor in the masters’ degree program, School of Planning, USC. His course, “Owning the Future: Urban Housing and Mixed Use Development,” is one of the most popular at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, which he has taught there since 1993.

He is a vice president of the Fraternity of Friends, a Los Angeles County Music Center Support group. In 2003 his appreciation for history as an intellectual framework for the future led him to establish the annual Johannes Van Tilburg lecture in the UCLA Dutch Studies Program.

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