CRIT./ PETER SWINNEN: A BELGIAN HOUSE (1958-2018)
In English (subtitles available)
This conference took place on March 26th, 2019 and it was organized by LUCA – in collaboration with the Master in Architecture of the University of Luxembourg – as part of the “This Will Feed That” cycle.
During his lecture, CRIT./Peter Swinnen presented the restoration – made in 2017 – of one of the most influential examples of modernist Belgian architecture: the Heyvaert House, built in 1958.
The house, as well as its architect René Heyvaert, remains relatively unknown within the international architectural debate. Heyvaert’s architectural production was numerically scarce, in terms of both design and execution. It is light in construction and imbued with an unruly, almost surreal, ‘poor’ materiality. All the house is conceived in a purely economic way. The back of the house is evidence of that. We can indeed see that it was unfinished, a living experiment on a 1:1 scale, with no prior guarantee of success. Over the past sixty years, the house has taken on various lives, appearances, and meanings. In 2018, it was finally listed as a national monument in Belgium. Peter Swinnen will sketch out his intense three-yearlong journey with this house; as an architect, curator, filmmaker, editor and broker.
Peter Swinnen was born in 1972 and he is a Brussels based architect. After his apprenticeship at Luc Deleu/T.O.P. Office (1994-96), he founded 51N4E space producers, which he spearheaded until 2013. Between 2010-15 Swinnen enrolled as Flemish State Architect, a public mandate empowering architecture as a policy-making discipline. Since 2016, he is a senior architect and partner-in-chief at CRIT. He has taught at the Architectural Association London and ETH Zürich. In 2019, he was appointed guest professor at the Master in Architecture, University of Luxembourg.