Discover Benelux, Issue 43, July 2017

Page 12

Discover Benelux  |  Architecture Special  |  Benelux

Vierwinden Garden in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, BAUKUNST Photo: Maxime Delvaux

Belgium: the land of cutting-edge design From the decadent art nouveau creations of Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde to the stunning skyscrapers and avant-garde urban developments that we see today, Belgian architecture is the epitome of cutting-edge design. Take a walk around any city in Belgium and you will be struck by the diversity of the buildings and monuments. From medieval towns like Bruges, home to both modern and medieval masterpieces, to major cities like Ghent and Antwerp where modern triumphs stand alongside historical gems. The latter’s latest architectural gem is the Port House, designed by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher. Having been inaugurated in September last year, the new headquarters for the port involved the renovation and extension of a derelict fire station along with a striking contemporary diamond-shaped superstructure. This modern masterpiece, which reflects both the port’s rich history and its optimism for the future, has confirmed the city’s high-ranking status on the architectural world map. 12  |  Issue 43  |  July 2017

Droogloods. Photo: Olmo Peeters

Flanders Architecture Institute (VAi) Thanks to organisations such as the Flanders Architecture Institute (VAi), which coordinates the Belgian entry to the Venice Architecture Biennale every four years on a rotating basis with the country’s French-speaking community, architecture in Flanders is reputed for its innovation. The Flanders Architecture Institute’s aim is to raise awareness of the significance of good design and encourage public

debate related to buildings and cities. By organising exhibitions, lectures and debates, they help spread knowledge about architecture. Read more about Belgian architecture from page 24. For more information, please visit:

Basisschool De Springplank, Brugge - Tom Thys Architecten. Photo: Olmo Peeters