Festival of Architecture

Every year, the Flanders Architecture Institute (VAi) places architecture into the spotlight, organising the Festival of Architecture and the Day of Architecture. From 21 to 27th September, go to Ghent to attend a number of lectures, workshops, exhibitions and performances about architecture in the widest sense of the word. Key word for this edition is ‘connection’. In tomorrow’s city, not only do we live closer together, we also become more and more creative with space, by sharing and connecting more. Today, architecture plays a crucial role: it not only has the power to connect buildings and functions, but also to bring people closer together. Looking around us, we discover a timeline of architecture. A mix of buildings from different generations, each of them designed with their own vision and purpose.
The history of a building tells us about its inhabitants, but also about the city and the atmosphere in its time.

This year, the Flanders Architecture Institute is collaborating with Ghent architect Peter Vanden Abeele and Vooruit arts centre. Since 2017, Vooruit is one of the seven art institutions of the Flemish government, tasked with playing a leading role in the Flemish art landscape.

Festival of Architecture : 21 to 27th September Vooruit Ghent
Day of Architecture : 22 September

Festival of Architecture by Marijn Dionys

The Vooruit building was designed in 1911 by Ferdinand Dierkens and it was originally destined to be the art and celebrations centre of the Ghent labour movement, with a ballroom, cinema and theatre group. After World War II the building became run down until 1982, when a start was made with changing it into an arts centre. The building was rebuilt and in 1983 it was proclaimed official monument. In 2000, after extensive restoration works, it received the Flanders Monument Prize.

Left : Crisis Of Masculinity by Egon van Herreweghe & Thomas Min for seen at Kunsthal Genth.
Right : On Sunday, September 22, the Festival of Architecture expands for a day from Ghent to Flanders and Brussels. During Architecture Day more than 100 connecting buildings and design offices open their doors. Picture by Filip Dujardin.

The new visitor center at the port of Ghent by TETRA architects.

The Book Tower. In 1933 Ghent University commissioned Henry van de Velde to design a library and a building for the Higher Institute of Art History and Archaeology. He opted for an extremely unorthodox tower and applied to it his formula involving light, perfect proportions and superior materials.

Words by Stephanie De Smet