Reporting from the front: 2016 Belgian and Czech+Slovak Pavilions at the Venice Biennale

Craftmanship and scarcity are this year’s themes for the Belgian National Pavilion, curated by BRAVURE – architecten De Vydler Vink Tailleu, Doorzon and Filip Dujardin. On the other hand, the Czech and Slovak Pavilion focuses on the issue of the political load of architectural heritage and its preservation.

 

Filip Dujardin, ‘memorial I’ © Filip Dujardin

 

This year’s Belgian National Pavilion has taken craftmanship and scarcity as main theme for the exhibits. The exhibition’s title is Craft(wo)manship and the city, and has been organized by four important representatives of Belgium architecture: the Flanders Architecture Institute (VAi) and BRAVOURE, a curatorial team made up of Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu, doorzon intereiurarchitecten and photographer Filip Dujardin.

BRAVOURE brings together fragments of thirteen projects by a same number of guest-architects: through a copy of each fragment (scale 1:1) and a serie of images they will show how craftsmanship can shape space, also exploring what craftsmanship can mean during a period of economic scarcity. (more…)

“Modernika” exhibition: Modernist and International Style in Belgium

Taking as its starting-point the legendary Expo 58, with its contribution to spreading the “American way of life” in Belgium, the exhibition demonstrates the various ways in which the American dream manifested itself. The exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to (re)discover Modernist and International Style architecture.

 

The Information Pavilion at Expo 58 on the Place De Brouckère, Brussels. The architects were Lucien-Jacques Baucher, Jean-Pierre Blondel and Odette Filippone, while René Sarger was the civil engineer.  © Archives d’Architecture Moderne, Brussels

The Information Pavilion at Expo 58 on the Place De Brouckère, Brussels. The architects were Lucien-Jacques Baucher, Jean-Pierre Blondel and Odette Filippone, while René Sarger was the civil engineer © Archives d’Architecture Moderne, Brussels

 

As part of its exhibitions devoted to architecture, the Atomium proposes as of October 29th 2015 until April 10th 2016, Modernika, devoted to architecture in Belgium after 1945. Examples reflecting Belgium’s aspiration towards American-style cities include the Martini Tower in Brussels, conceived as a “city within a city” and Antwerp’s BP Tower, with its totally suspended façade. (more…)

“30 years architecture in Flanders: The wonder years in models”

The exhibition brings together 57 models and dozens of photographs from over 70 projects that have helped shape the wonder years: high-profile buildings by pioneers, projects of the ‘young gods’ who followed in their footsteps, and work by the new generation who have been active since the turn of the century.

 

'RTS Champ Continu'. Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen © Office

‘RTS Champ Continu’. Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen © Office

 

Over the past three decades, architecture in Flanders has enjoyed unprecedented growth.  The exhibition ‘30 Years in Flanders – The wonder years in models’ showcases ground-breaking and controversial projects from that period. It also offers a comprehensive overview of the leading figures, facts and events that have contributed to the flourishing architectural culture. (more…)

“La Ciudad abierta de Amereida, Chile. Utopia in Progress” at CIVA

Besides the architectural drawings, models and videos tracing it’s history, unveiled in an audiovisual scenography, the exhibition appeals to the challenges adopted by its foundations, which are artistically reproduced on the walls. Philosophy and poetry, two essential elements of the process of teaching at Valparaiso faculty are fundamental guide to visitors.

 

Cementery. La Ciudad abierta de Amereida, Chile. Utopia in Progress © CIVA

Cementery. La Ciudad abierta de Amereida, Chile. Utopia in Progress © CIVA

 

The Ciudad Abierta, founded in 1970 on Ritoque sand dunes, north of Valparaiso, was born out of the encounter between poetry and different professions, united in the search for a consonance between speech and action. The project dates back to the 50s when the Design and Architecture School of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Chile primed a process of research and reflection on their own work, guided by the poetic word. (more…)

Exhibition about Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat opens in CIVA  Brussels

The exhibition on the Tugendhat Villa is composed of 14 comprehensive topics dealing with the history of the villa in several time periods. Accompanying texts of individual “chapters” do not directly follow up on each other in their structure.

 

Villa Tugendhat © David Zidlicky

Villa Tugendhat © David Zidlicky

 

On September 23 from 7 pm a festive opening of the Vila Tugendhat exhibition will be held in the spaces of CIVA – The International Centre for Urbanism, Architecture and Landspace. The opening will be held together with a lecture by the Villa director Iveta Černá called “Beyond of the Glass Room: The many lives of the Villa Tugendhat”. (more…)

Boolean voids – Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s approach to the Labyrinth

The Belgian architects’ latest design is a summer maze for C-mine art centre in Genk, in Belgium – a promenade through the insides of geometrical shapes carved out of a massive, steel-plate grid.

 

"Labyrinth" by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh © Philip Dujardin

“Labyrinth” by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh © Philip Dujardin

 

Belgian duo of architects and artists Gijs Van Vaerenbergh have designed Labyrinth, a spatial installation on the main square of C-mine art centre in Genk, Belgium. The installation will be open until the 30th of September as one of the main summer activities. (more…)

IGLO, social housing in Antwerp

IGLO is a Belgian social-housing initiative dedicated to the improvement of a 1970’s neglected neighbourhood in Antwerp through the rehabilitation of the neglected areas in between the buildings and a contemporary approach to the addition of new housing blocks and community centers, like the one designed by De Vylder Vinck Taillieu Architects.

 

IGLO Linkeroever Antwerp by De Vylder Vinck Taillieu © Filip Dujardin

IGLO Linkeroever Antwerp by De Vylder Vinck Taillieu © Filip Dujardin

 

IGLO is a Belgian social-housing initiative dedicated to the improvement of a 1970’s neglected neighbourhood in Antwerp. The programme’s expectations are to tackle the cultural and generational gaps among the inhabitants of Antwerp’s EuroPark neighbourhood through the rehabilitation of the neglected areas in between the buildings and a contemporary approach to the addition of new housing blocks. The team at De Vylder Vinck Taillieu Architects have now designed a 7.5m€ collective housing building facing the largest and probably the most controversial block in the neighbourhood: the Chicago block. (more…)

Visionary structures, through the eyes of three generations of the Latvian avant-garde

The BOZAR in Bruxelles is hosting an exhibition on three different generations of Latvian avant-garde art through Russian Constructivism to the nineteen-seventies experimental design, as part of a larger scope on Latvian Art for this spring’s programme.

 

Valdis Celms_Architectural proposal Kinetic light object ‘Balloon’ (1978), Collection of the Latvian Artists' Union  © BOZAR

Valdis Celms_Architectural proposal Kinetic light object ‘Balloon’ (1978), Collection of the Latvian Artists’ Union

 

The Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels is hosting a comprehensive exhibition named “Visionary Structures – from Johansons to Johansons“, a three-stop journey through Latvian avant-garde art of the twenty and twenty-first century.

Through the works of three artists’ generations, from the Russian Constructivist 1920’s to contemporary avant-garde art, through the nineteen seventies Soviet revival in search of innovative forms and spatial experimentation, the retrospective organized by the Bozar in Bruxelles comprises works that comfortably sit on the edge of artistic research, reaching out to architecture, design and urban planning.

The exhibition, which will be open until the 31st of May, 2015 has been curated by Ieva Astahovska in partnership with the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art in Riga, as part of a larger programme organized by the BOZAR museum with the common theme of Latvian art, “Focus on Latvia“.

“Focus on Latvia” will bring Latvian Art to Brussels in two exhibitions: “Visionary Structures” and “Ola Vasilieva – The Limp of a Letter“.  Please download the full programme and exhibtion’s brochure, or read on for further information.

 

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Call for entries for the 2nd edition of the BigMat International Architecture Award is now open

After Xaveer De Geyter —last edition’s winner— who will be the next Grand Prize? The BigMat Architecture Award rewards European architecture with more than 70.000€, distributed in 1 Grand Prize, 5 National Prizes and 12 runner-up awards.

 

Elishout Kitchen Tower Campus COOVI, Brussels, by Xaveer De Geyter Architects (XDGA) © Frans Parthesius

Elishout Kitchen Tower Campus COOVI, Brussels, by Xaveer De Geyter Architects (XDGA) © Frans Parthesius

 

The registration period for the 2nd edition of the BigMat International Architecture Award 2015 is now open. The biennial Prize aims to call attention to the built works that have made a major contribution to contemporary architectural culture in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Belgium (Walloon and Brussels City), particularly aware of these works’  dialogue with timeless themes in the history of architecture, as well as their relationship with energy efficiency parameters, sustainable construction and the quest for greater comfort and habitability, accepting any building typology (residential works, commercial works, industrial works, institutional works, etc.). (more…)

“Big Change / Big Chance”: Africa’s opportunities for the new century, now showing at CIVA Brussels.

The exhibition, made for the Triennale di Milano, will be open until March 1, 2015. Its aim is to approach the continent’s potential through a comprehensive analysis of its landscape, infrastructures and urban development posibilities.

 

Nouackchott, Mauritanie. Photograph by Jerôme Chenal

Nouackchott, Mauritanie. Photograph by Jerôme Chenal

 

After its presentation at the Milan Triennale from 15 October to 28 December 2014 , CIVA is pleased to welcome  Africa: Big Change / Big Chance , a richly illustrated and commented exhibition reviewing the architectural and urban situation of an ever-changing continent.

The exhibition aims to address the complex panorama of Africa from an architectural point of view in a context of scarce natural resources and growing urbanization. It will be open until March 1, 2015.

(more…)