These six architects gave talks at Inspirium: Els Kuypers from OSAR architects, Daan Bruggink from ORGA Architect, Bart Hollanders from Eagles of Architecture, Benjamin Denef from DMOA, Jeroen Dirckx from KCAP and Johannes Robbrecht from Robbrecht en Daem architects.
After a delicious lunch with a view of the Antwerp Zoo and a welcome word from Design Express Els Kuypers from OSAR architects away from the rush. During her lecture, she emphasized how important it is for her to include the voice of the end user when designing a building. “We often design for people with a certain vulnerability: the elderly, those in need of care, young people in youth care, etc. In many designs for the target groups that we see today, the requirements program does not take a voice. these people probably considering. We believe that it should be done differently, which is why we visit finished buildings for those target groups, but we also watch relevant documentaries and TV programs to draw inspiration from them. For example, we find the contrast between the top doctors’ beautiful home in the TV program of the same name and their workplace, where there is almost no daylight,’ it read, among other things.
Then it was on Daan Bruggink from ORGA Architect. Drawing on several projects, he explained how his office invariably focuses on biophilia and biomimetics. Particular attention was paid to the elementary school De Verwondering, which ORGA designed in Almere, a building dominated by wood. “As a child I played a lot in trees and developed a love for that material. I wanted to be a biologist, but unfortunately I wasn’t very good at physics. And so I became an architect, I could also express my love for nature in that,” said Bruggink. “Research shows that the more we experience nature in construction projects, the happier we feel. There are even voices to make building owners liable for building-related illnesses, although of course such a thing is difficult to prove.”
Just before the coffee break was also allowed Bart Hollanders of Eagles of Architecture go on stage. He explained that, according to his office, innovative architecture does not exist and explained this vision based on a few of his own projects. “On the one hand, we draw our inspiration from non-fiction and art, on the other from the built reality. Because we are convinced that no matter how original an idea is, it is always based on the history of things. It never comes out of nowhere. Brand new does not exist in architecture,” he said. “Under the name ‘Friday I’m in love’, therefore, every Friday we organize sessions in our office where we do not work on tasks, but redraw existing architecture to learn from it. I teach and also try to travel a lot with the students so they can experience architecture in real life instead of behind a screen.”
After the coffee was allowed first Benjamin Denef from DMOA talk about some of his agency’s reference projects. The various Maggie projects and KRUUL’s own office, realized on a small plot of land in Leuven, were reviewed. These two projects are indeed exemplary of the results of DMOA, which tries to unite architecture with craftsmanship and the use of natural materials. “Maggie tents used in humanitarian projects such as refugee camps are invariably insulated with local and natural materials such as sand, stone, grass. We also always try to involve local people to achieve not only ecological but also social sustainability with our projects. The KRUUL facade was then rebuilt with rammed earth, which our employees, including myself, experienced.”
Then train Jeroen Dirckx from KCAP as the inspiration day’s penultimate speaker. He spoke more about urban planning and how this should be a process shaped not only by the designer but also by the user. He also advocated mixing functions in urban development. “Urban planning is actually constantly turning the knobs,” says Dirckx. “As a designer of cities, you have to find a balance between control and laissez-faire. For example, in the HafenCity project, a work and residential area in Hamburg, where we participated in a first phase, the original plan was to create houses with gardens in a second phase, instead of again apartments and houses with a less individual character. . That idea was eventually abandoned because the demand for more of the same homes as those already there turned out to be very high.”
Johannes Robbrecht van Robbrecht and Daem architects was allowed to end the fascinating afternoon. His own office in Ghent, the importance of unprogrammed space in the city and the unique measurement system that his office developed were the main focus of his lecture. “As a designer you have to dare to allow unprogrammed space in the urban structure,” he said. “Because they also bring your project to life. A good example is our design of Ghent’s town hall, where all kinds of activities were spontaneously organized under the roof. In addition, various activities that are not possible in a strictly programmed space.”
If you want to review these lectures, you can do so via this link, through which Inspirium can be viewed in its entirety. The inspiration event Inspirium was organized by Design Express and inspired by Vectorworks.