The Berlage


The Bouwmeester’s Flanders

Peter Swinnen

In outlining the ambitions of the Bouwmeester in Flanders, Peter Swinnen, Bouwmeester from 2010 to 2015, writes in 2013:

"Since the appointment of the first Vlaams Bouwmeester in 1999, the Flemish government has been continuously working to achieve an excellent architectural policy and exemplary public commissioning practice. Thanks to the Vlaams Bouwmeester Team, broad support for a high-quality building culture has been created in both central and local government. One of the powerful instruments the Vlaams Bouwmeester Team uses for this purpose is the Open Call, a negotiation procedure that enables public principals to choose the most effective designer for their project on the basis of a potent social vision."

In his lecture, Swinnen will examine the Open Call in general; while, at the same time, providing his reflections on this process through the lens of an exemplary case study.

The Berlage Sessions is a thematic seven-part seminar series entitled “Architecture in Civic Service,” examines the administrative role architects played in designing nineteenth-century Barcelona, Berlin, and Vienna; postwar Amsterdam and Stockholm; and contemporary Flanders and Bristol, from streetlights and building facades to infrastructures and landscapes. This spring semester, speakers include George Ferguson, Francesc Magrinyà Torner, Helena Mattsson, Jules Schoonman, Werner Michael Schwarz, Peter Swinnen, and Linda Vlassenrood.

Peter Swinnen is the cofounder of CRIT. architects, and was Flemish Government Architect from 2010 until 2015, a public mandate empowering architecture as a policy-questioning discipline. After an apprenticeship at Luc Deleu/T.O.P. Office he co-founded 51N4E in 1997 with Lieven De Boeck, which he headed until 2014.