Discover Benelux | Tailored Architecture in Flanders | Sustainability, Innovation, and Craftsmanship Stadhuis Harelbeke.
Auditorium AZ Groeninge Kortrijk / Dehullu Architecten. Photo: © Dennis De Smet
Award-winning architecture TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT
Their inspired concepts, clear designs and exceptional craftsmanship have made Dehullu Architects into one of Belgium’s top firms in private and public architecture. Having won the prestigious Brick Award in 2017, CEO Bert Dehullu and his team are now looking forward to exciting new challenges. The Dehullu story began in 1979 when Philippe Dehullu launched Dehullu & Partners. When his son Bert took over in 2008, the firm was renamed Dehullu Architects. Bert brings not only his architectural expertise to the table, but also his extensive experience in structural engineering. Under his leadership Dehullu gradually branched out from the private sector into medium-scale house building schemes and high profile public utility buildings. In October 2017 the seven strong Dehullu team claimed their greatest prize so far, winning the prestigious International Brick Award for their design of a research, teaching and conference auditorium at the Groeninge Teaching Hospital in the Belgian town of Kortrijk. The jury praised the use of coarse, light-grey bricks to emphasise the building’s soft curves, creating a peaceful, welcoming haven set in 18 | Issue 50 | February 2018
green surroundings. “The building was expressly designed as a free-flowing form contrasting with the strict logic of the hospital,” says Bert Dehullu. “The idea is to take students, doctors and nursing staff away from their daily routine into this inspirational environment.”
the ambition to create something unique. A building that has its own identity and at the same time perfectly complements its surroundings.”
Bare essentials The auditorium exemplifies the kind of architecture Dehullu champion, combining clear design with traditional craftsmanship and connecting surroundings, infrastructure and design on all levels. “The way we work is we strip our ideas down to the bare essentials, and from there create something new, original and inspiring,” Bert explains. “We’re always looking for the perfect balance between form, idea and practical reality.” Although their award has been raising a lot of interest, Bert is not looking to grow into a big firm taking on high volume building or mammoth projects. “Rather, we want to expand our creativity,” he says. “Our ambition is to continue designing eye-catching public utility and house building projects, but also private builds where we can work with clients who have
House in Waasmunster.
Dehullu Therapeutisch Centrum AZ Groeninge. Photo: © Dennis De Smet
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