Gaston Eysselinck in the Footsteps of Le Corbusier

© photo Yves De Bont 2020 EPFL-TSAM

© photo Yves De Bont 2020 EPFL-TSAM

Conférence de Marc Dubois, architecte à Ghent et chair de Docomomo Belgium, dans le cadre de la série Docomomo Switzerland / TSAM

The limited œuvre of the Ghent architect Gaston Eysselinck belongs to the most compelling evidence of an innovative architecture in Belgium. During his studies he comes into contact with publications of the European avant-garde, the Russian architecture and the work of Le Corbusier. In November 1930, he takes part in the CIAM Congress in Brussels and he is on the legendary group photo in the presence of Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. His own house, which also includes his office (1930-31) and house Peeters (1932) can be considered as the built manifesto of the «Nieuwe Bouwen». Eysselinck designs furniture for his home, including different pieces of metal tube furniture. The architectural plan becomes more and more important under the influence of the work of Adolf Loos. Eysselinck does rethink the traditional urban terraced house, always placing the kitchen at the side of the street. In 1937, he receives the Van de Ven prize, which can be considered as the most influential architectural prize in Belgium. In 1945, he dedicates all of his energy to the design and the construction of the Post & Telegraphy Office building in Ostend (1945-52), his extraordinary masterpiece. This building shows his quest for an architecture with explanatory power and an explicit materiality, a building that repositions the architecture. In December 1953, Eysselinck commits suicide, tormented by numerous adversities, both on a private as on a professional level. Eysselinck believed in the feasibility of a better future. The control of the chaos by choosing a rational order, is one of the biggest ambitions pursued by the architect. 

Marc Dubois (1950) obtained a degree as architect at St Luke’s Higher Institute of Architecture in 1974. From 1978 to 2015 he taught at St Luke’s and then at the KULeuven Faculty of Architecture / Ghent & Brussels. In 1983 he was a co-founder of the S/AM (Stichting Architektuurmuseum) in Ghent. He was commissioned by the Flemish Community to curate for the Venice Architecture Biennale in 1991 and for Barcelona in 1997. Over the years he has organised several exhibitions and he has written books on the work of Gaston Eysselinck, Albert Van huffel, Álvaro Siza, Philippe Samyn, Vincent Van Duysen and Bart Lens. Since 2015 he has been the chairman of DOCOMOMO in Belgium. In 2019 he received the Ultima Prize, the biennial architecture prize awarded by the Flemish Community.

Thursday, 14 May 2020, 18h00

Live streaming :