Autonomous architecture in Flanders. The early works of Marie-José Van Hee, Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem, Christian Kieckens and Marc Dubois

Five well-known architects who studied together in Ghent, Marie-José Van Hee, Christian Kieckens, Marc Dubois, Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem, can be considered as leading protagonists of their generation. From their education at Sint-Lucas Institute to the present day, their professional careers and legacy have been of great importance to the development of Flemish architecture.

In their early works and writings, they established a distinct architectural language, rooted in historical knowledge and with a reflection to art and craftsmanship. Architecture was singled out as a spatial phenomenon with an autonomous logic grounded in inhabitation and experience.

This generation represents a significant turn towards architectural autonomy in Flanders which resonated with similar international developments in the late 1970s. Moreover they played a decisive role in the emancipation and professionalization of the architectural culture in Flanders.



CAROLINE VOET is doctoral assistant of the Faculty of Architecture at KU Leuven, where she completed a PhD on the work of Dom Hans van der Laan in 2013. She is head of an architectural practice based in Antwerp.

KATRIEN VANDERMARLIERE has been engaged in the policy support and public programmes for the building culture in Belgium and Flanders for over 25 years. She works as a freelance curator and editor.

SOFIE DE CAIGNY holds a PhD in architectural history and a Master in Cultural Management. She is coordinator at the Centre for Flemish Architectural Archives (CVAa) of the Flanders Architecture Institute (VAi).

LARA SCHRIJVER is professor in architecture at the University of Antwerp. She has taught in Delft and Dessau. She is editor for the journals Footprint and the KNOB bulletin, and author of Radical Games.


Birgit Cleppe (Ghent University), Sofie De Caigny (CVAa), Maarten Delbeke (Ghent University), Fredie Floré (KU Leuven), William Mann, Yves Schoonjans (KU Leuven), Eireen Schreurs (TU Delft), Lara Schrijver (University of Antwerp), Dirk Somers (Ghent University), Sven Sterken (KU Leuven), Mechthild Stuhlmacher (TU Delft), Hera Van Sande (VUB / KU Leuven), Katrien Vandermarliere, Caroline Voet (KU Leuven)

With statements of

Kristoffel Boghaert, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Adam Caruso, Els Claessens and Tania Vandenbussche, An Fonteyne, Tony Fretton, Pieter D’haeseleer, Hilde Heynen, Cristina Iglesias, Francis Strauven, Peter Swinnen, Koen Van Synghel, Paul Vermeulen, Jacques De Visscher

Book launch

The official book presentation will take place on the occasion of the 'finissage' of the exhibition The House. The Mentor. The Archive. Christian Kieckens on 5 June 2016 (2 pm). 

Order online