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Dutch and Flemish architects discuss how their apparently radical architecture can produce a nuanced, poetic quality. With Goes & Berry (BE), Olivier Goethals (BE), Freek Persyn (51N4E) (BE), Lara Schrijver (Universiteit van Antwerpen) (NL) and Studio Donna van Milligen Bielke (NL).

While Dutch architecture gained international recognition with Superdutch, for years Flemish architecture was seen as ‘ugly’ and ‘chaotic’. However, in recent years, another more poetic image has emerged in Flanders and a group of Dutch architects has shown an affinity with this style and working method. They share a special feeling for composition, rhythm and materiality, which gives their work a well-considered quality. During this evening, we will explore this merging of aesthetics, which is surprising given the cultural, spatial differences and distinct architectural traditions.

This dialogue between the Netherlands and Flanders is the first in an international series organised by Het Nieuwe Instituut. Each conversation is devoted to a particular theme: ‘Maatwerk Without Borders’ (27 October, Rotterdam), ‘Radicality & Poetry’ (November, Frankfurt), ‘Composition & Materials’ (24 November, Antwerp) and ‘Context & Place’ (8 December, Frankfurt). The series is associated with the exhibition Maatwerk / Massarbeit in the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (8 October – 12 February 2017). Het Nieuwe Instituut has supported this exhibition with loans from the National Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning.

The series of dialogues has been initiated and made possible by Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Agency for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture in partnership with the Flanders Architecture Institute. The selection of practices has been made partially by Jantje Engels and Marius Grootveld, who have curated part of the exhibition Maatwerk / Massarbeit.


Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main