Jelle Hendrik Therry, Design Director & Landscape Architect

Open positions

Jelle Hendrik Therry

Design Director, Master of Landscape Architecture, Singapore

T: +65 6958 2263
I was born and raised under the church tower in a small farmers’ village called Hooglede, in Belgium, about 30km away from the Medieval City of Bruges.  

Despite being an economics major early on in school, I decided to change my major to agriculture studies where I then attended the ErasmusHogeschool Brussels, an institute in Belgium, where I graduated with a Bachelors in Garden and Landscape Architecture, before moving to the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam where I graduated with a Masters in Landscape Architecture in 2005.

As a creative and passionate individual, I seek to thrive in a progressive, team-oriented design environment. Realizing functional, meaningful, and intellectually engaging landscapes is a personal expectation and standard of mine. As a Design Director at Ramboll, I have been leading, designing and overseeing the construction of many large urban design and park development projects across the Middle East and Asia Pacific (MEAP) region. Some of the items in my portfolio include: Punggol Digital District, Unicorn Island, Jiangxi River Chengdu, and Jurong Lake Gardens. 

Besides being a designer, I’m also a family man – my wife and daughter who mean the world to me, without which I would not be the person standing before you today. Needless to say, they make my life a lot more fulfilling, allowing me to live a full rich life. 

My Origins

As an 8-year old kid, I remember having to write a story about what I wanted to do when I was older. My classmates wanted to be soccer players, policemen, pilots, firemen, and yet I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I went home and asked my dad – who was a teacher with a background in architecture – and he asked me what I liked to do. Simply, I told him I enjoyed working with him in the garden, as we had a big garden and had to do lots of maintenance work such as mowing the grass, clipping the roses, tidying the hedges and an allotment garden, where I had made my own little greenhouse where I tended to a nursery with all kinds of flowers, seeds, and twigs. 

Concurrently, I loved drawing as well – I even attended an art academy where I sketched, painted and played with clay to enhance my creative skills. My father then told me “become a garden architect!” Though not knowing what that was at the time, my father explained that it’s the same as being an architect for houses, but you now do it for gardens. One had to meet the owner, talk to them about their wishes, hopes and dreams for their garden, take the appropriate measurements, design their garden, present it, all in the hopes of building this garden for them. Since then, it’s been my dream to become a garden architect. Despite majoring in economics in school, I worked with a local gardener during every available weekend and school holiday, helping him maintain and build beautiful gardens. By the age of 16, I had designed and built my first garden – a 120sqm private garden.

As a child, my parents frequently took the family on holiday – back to basics of camping in the wild; a method of allowing us to appreciate nature better, witnessing the beauty of birds, flowers, wildlife, and the place we live in. I never knew it was possible to combine everything under one roof – gorgeous architecture with flourishing nature – only until I saw and contributed to the works at Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl.

Why Ramboll 

I joined the team in 2018, and I am still amazed by the way we collaborate and work together as a team. I’m immensely proud of each and every member of the Ramboll family, as we respect each other, pushes one another forward, takes care of our kin, and allows the individual to be themselves without any stifling of creativity or personalities – together, we always manage to accomplish the most challenging projects. From the silly conversations at the pantry to the everyday chit chat with our Ramboll colleagues across the business units – I find it incredibly empowering, knowing that we are able to change the world for the better.

We always work together as a team – regardless of business units – to create new and liveable places. The beauty of Ramboll is that together, we not only make our vision stronger, but also more evidence-based by building on the good qualities of one another. Cross-cultural collaboration starts from within. For example, the team I work with sports 17 different nationalities, but we are ONE team. Working collaboratively with our colleagues in China, Copenhagen, London, India and other parts of the world is what makes us uniquely Ramboll – with each country’s local context inspiring us as creative designers. While no one solution fits all, we consider local context, culture, and geographics when designing a solution for a specific place. 

Personally, I thrive on team collaborations. As an individual during high school, I was bullied and thus learned to close myself off from the rest of the world and got so used to doing things independently. However, my experiences of working and studying abroad have taught me the true value of teamwork, because good ideas can come from anyone and everywhere, and it is only through listening to others where ideas can be pieced together to form a coherent, custom-built visioning for the client.