Experience architecture!

Lecture + New Year's drink Lecture

More Home, More Garden Lecture

Questions out of the rich architectural archive Miscellaneous

Poot Architecture Lecture


From brick expressionism to the intangibility of Ishigami Trip

Visit the exhibition prior to lecture Lecture

Project visits along the axis Vilvoorde–Mechelen Visit

Celebration ! Miscellaneous

The role of architecture competitions Lecture

Selection of young architects speaking Lecture

The power of urban landscape - Michel Desvigne (FR) o.v. Lecture

Bovenbouw Architecture Lecture

DRDH Architects (GB) Lecture

Lecture Lecture + New Year's drink

Theaterzaal Ledeberg, Gent

Archipel starts the working year with a foreign look at “UNSPOKEN”.
Klaske Havik (NL) will bring together the unspoken, poetic and atmospheric for the new theme year on the basis of a few literary and architectural examples.

Lecture More Home, More Garden

Auditorium Quetelet, Gent

Architect Marie-José Van Hee has resisted compromises for thirty years of practice, a period in which she has produced a very thoughtful and consistent oeuvre. She strives for an authentic, serene architecture with perseverance, tenacity and a healthy scepticism against the prevailing circumstances. Six architects view her work in the light of “unspoken”.

Miscellaneous Questions out of the rich architectural archive

Theaterzaal Ledeberg, Gent

The third Archipel architecture quiz will be once again a dazzling quiz with questions about architecture in its broadest sense. The quiz focuses on the architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries, with fun film or music fragments and surprising visual material to stimulate your imagination.

Lecture Poot Architecture


Sarah Poot has her own architectural firm Poot Architectuur since 2014. A crucial element within architecture is making compromises. The more restrictions an assignment contains, the more compromises. When that happens, you become more creative and it results in something that is much better and stronger. Poot architecture stands for timeless architecture, based on a strong sense of space. It is soft and tough at the same time. What provides this power?

Lecture Spatiality

NTB, Gent

Two architectural offices, Graux & Baeyens architects en Tim Rogge, present their work within the Young Architects series. Although both write their own story, they focus on a strong dialogue with the context and with the preconditions and show a special affinity with materials and textures. Their work bears witness to creating a thought out and thoughtful space. They bring their work into the light of trying to grasp the immeasurable, the fragile, the magical in their architecture.


Trip From brick expressionism to the intangibility of Ishigami

A visit to Hamburg is a walk through the architectural history of the last 150 years. Here, few architecture that is older survived the storms; fire, epidemics, economic revolutions, war… Her population always scrambled back up, adapting the city to the new reality. Pulling down and building up, moving streets or if necessary entire neighbourhoods, cleaning up the debris, dreaming of a new city most beautiful.

Lecture Visit the exhibition prior to lecture

de Singel - Muziekstudio, Antwerpen

Two young architectural firms that work from Flanders and Japan work with the unspoken in the cross-fertilization between both cultures. Sugiberry (Meaning) shows how an idea that adapts to a changing context, more specifically in the cultural exchange between Flanders and Japan, leads to new connections and new layers of meaning. Schenk Hattori (Translations) seeks the limits of our imagination, and even more the mysterious and often lost elements in architecture.

Visit Project visits along the axis Vilvoorde–Mechelen

Op locatie

Office Omgeving fills in the theme ‘unspoken’ in a proper manner and searches for the secret (unspoken) messages that they like to put into their projects: a layer of meaning that was not requested by the client, but which is considered valuable to integrate based upon the craftmenship. We spend a full day along the axis Vilvoorde-Mechelen in order to actually feel and experience this mission in various projects, to focus on the necessary relationship between city and nature.

Miscellaneous Celebration !


Archipel celebrates its 40th birthday! This is celebrated on a summer day in June! 40 years of architecture, 40 years of lectures, meetings, travels, exhibitions, all sorts of activities, discoveries, conversations, discussions, laughter, enjoyment, … all about architecture, on the way to wonder … We will turn it into a special moment. The contents of that day are still secret, but already this: Save the date!

Lecture The role of architecture competitions

NTB, Gent

Since the turn of the century, architectural competitions such as Open Oproep and WinVorm have given an important impulse to public building culture and have heightened the sense of ambitious experiment. This lecture examines the way in which competition projects with an intervention in important heritage not only provide their own interpretation of the requirements, but sometimes also of the heritage. That is in tension with (the illusion of) a static and purely scientific heritage assessment. Heritage, on the other hand, comes into the picture as being constantly copied in the present, and architecture is highlighted as a prominent interpretative practice and as a technical-cultural medium to curate heritage.

Lecture Selection of young architects speaking

NTB, Brussel

Belgian architecture receives a lot of media attention abroad, but often it is about well-known agencies and projects. A + brings a publication with up-and-coming talent: (young) agencies that shape our spatial and social context today. The publication shows the work of agencies that are at a turning point in their career, a restart that requires professionalization, growth and more capacity, without loss of identity and quality. A number of architects show their work in the light of the search for atmosphere, for experience of spatial quality.

Lecture The power of urban landscape - Michel Desvigne (FR) o.v.

NTB, Kortrijk

Michel Desvigne is a geographer and botanist who works on a large scale. He loves the city because it offers a lot of public space, because a well-designed city with all its streets, squares and parks shapes a society. In addition to architects and urban designers, landscape architects are becoming increasingly more prominent: they create the space in which an architect works. The relationship between city, people and nature must be restored. Parks and/or high-quality public spaces make it possible to live with nature in the city. Desvigne focuses on new landscapes, contemporary nature creations which work with what is already present in an unspoken way.

Lecture Bovenbouw Architecture

WZC De Drie Platanen, Oostende

Bovenbouw was founded in 2011 by Dirk Somers. This office makes relevant buildings which tell the right things about the city. Bovenbouw makes architecture which is itself, averse to the cramped desire to be avant-garde. Bovenbouw’s work is based on the tension between thinking and doing, between the present and the past, and between the exotic and the everyday. Dirk Somers has an outspoken opinion and does not work from a desire for innovation, but rather from a desire for the specific and the most appropriate, within which we look for the unspoken.

Lecture DRDH Architects (GB)

NTB, Gent

The precise, meticulous and thorough work of London architects Daniel Rosbottom and David Howarth has grown continuously since 2000. Their work is characterized by their sensitive responsiveness to both physical and cultural context and by the quality of detailing and construction within strict time and budget constraints. In addition, they also received international recognition for transcending practice to a broader research context of teaching and writing about art, architecture and the city. DRDH is also active in Belgium, including the Bourla Theater in Antwerp, the Music Center de Bijloke in Ghent and this year also the renovation of the Opera House in Ghent.


We open the newspaper and read about savings, price increases, poor air quality, road pricing, forest fires, polarization, social measures, more compact living, concrete stop, mobiscore, the quality of drinking water, the building shift … Living in itself, staying in a warm, attractive space , well-being in an environment, etc. are not discussed here. In these times Archipel wants to pause for a moment and look for the unspoken, the non-measurable, the intangible, the poetic, that little bit more, …

Peter Zumthor wrote: “What do we mean when we talk about architectural quality? It is difficult to answer that question. For me, quality in architecture is when a building succeeds in touching me. But what for Christ’s sake determines whether or not I am struck? And how can I do such a thing in my own work? How do people design objects with such a beautiful, natural presence? A word for this is atmosphere. ”
Le Corbusier already spoke of it in 1923. “ On met en œuvre de la pierre, du bois, du ciment ; on en fait des maisons, des palais; c’est de la construction. L’ingéniosité travaille. Mais, tout à coup, vous me prenez au cœur, vous me faites du bien, je suis heureux, je dis : c’est beau. Voilà l’architecture. L’art est ici.”

What makes that difference? What makes us silent in certain spaces? How does it work? Is there a certain mechanism? Especially in architectural publications of the last decades, people researched intensively about the conceptualization of atmosphere in text and image. Writers such as Peter Sloterdijk, Gernot Böhme, Juhani Pallasmaa, Peter Zumthor, Mark Wigley, Adam Caruso try – from different angles – to capture that feeling so difficult to describe. We feel the atmosphere in a room intuitively, we consciously experience it. Is the unspoken personal, vague, elusive? Can it be interpreted? Or does it remain legible between the lines? Unspoken, unausgresprochen, onuitgesproken, non-dit … every language has its own subtlety, fragility, accent in trying to name the mysterious, the hidden, the indescribable present, … To experience space, multiple senses react in a complex way. It leads to a mood, a feeling, an atmosphere. Countless factors play a role, a swirling climate of elusive and ephemeral effects: light, shadow, darkness, relationships, composition, rhythm, tactility, texture, colour, sound, noice, warmth, smell, humidity, feeling, light entry, tectonics, transparency , opacity, stratification, intimacy, tension, interior-exterior relationship, seduction, material compatibility, aging of materials, patina, detailing, emotions, relationships with the place …
Every aspect in itself may then be objectively named, but the simultaneous interplay of all those elements leads to magical, indescribable moments that cannot be captured in words. There is an infinite wealth and ambiguity in the concrete reality.
Architecture is about shaping an atmosphere, about looking for those fragile, ephemeral effects that have an impact on the resident. It is just the unspoken that we experience what we are looking for. It is the interplay of the whole that we undergo: every aspect meticulously conceived and thought through by the architect, who, as a director, assigns every actor his role, into a poetic, dynamic story in symbiosis.

This year’s speakers were chosen because they each deal with UNSPOKEN in a different way. We let them speak by looking at their work in the context of UNSPOKEN, where they were asked to deepen out one project in particular.

Hera Van Sande