The best-known designs by Léon Stynen (1899-1990) include the Belgian Pavilion for the World’s Fair in New York – in collaboration with Henry van de Velde and Victor Bourgeois -, Antwerp’s BP building, the casinos at Ostend and Knokke, and deSingel. As director of the Academy of Antwerp’s architecture department (1948) and the National Superior Institute of Architecture and Decorative Arts La Cambre (1950), he also played a leading role in the development of architectural education. In 1963 he became the first national chairman of the Order of Architects.
“Léon Stynen, architect”
October 12, 2018 – January 13, 2019
deSingel International Arts Campus – Expo
Desguinlei 25, 2018 Antwerpen
In October 2018 the Flanders Architecture Institute and deSingel co-organize an exhibition on the Belgian architect Léon Stynen (1899-1900). Léon Stynen (1899-1990) trained as an architect at the Academy in Antwerp. Among his most famous designs are the Belgian pavilion for the world exhibition in New York (in collaboration with Henry van de Velde and Victor Bourgeois), the BP-building, the casinos of Ostend and Knokke and, of course, deSingel.
In addition to the realisation of an important architectural oeuvre, he also played a major role in the development of architecture education and architectural culture in Belgium. He became director of the Architecture Department of the Antwerp Academy in 1948. In 1950, he became director of the National Higher Institute for Architecture and the Decorative Arts in La Cambre. In 1963, the then recently established Order of Architects selected him as their first national president.
Despite this impressive career, many people no longer know his designs and his name is relatively unknown to the general public. The exhibition ‘Léon Stynen, Architect’ aims to change this situation. Artefacts from the rich Stynen archive will document a number of iconic designs from the first sketch to finished building. This archival material is brought to life via contemporary and recent architectural photographs, models, works from private collections and the testimonies of former colleagues, employees and clients.
The exhibition in deSingel is part of a broader program, which includes the Architecture Cabinet exhibitions Stynen Chooses Art and Stynen in Chandigarh, and the publication Léon Stynen. A Life of Architecture (1899-1990). Find out more at stynen2018.be or follow #stynen2018