Once the master builder was created to give architectural policy in Flanders a long-term vision in response to the unconcerted and often chaotic policy that existed in Flanders.
In 1998, bOb Van Reeth was appointed as the first Flemish Government Architect, with the central mission to promote the architectural quality of the built environment. During his six-year mandate, Van Reeth emphasized mainly the responsibilities of the client towards quality architecture. It was a conscious choice of the first Flemish Government Architect not to build it yourself, but to assist the client in the selection of a designer. Both the range of tasks and the team of the Flemish Government Architect were greatly expanded during these first six years of the Bouwmeesterschap. In the meantime, a whole course was completed, partly thanks to Marcel Smets and Peter Swinnen.
In 2016, Leo Van Broeck was appointed fourth Flemish Government Architect. Based on a strong concern for climate and ecology, he brings a clear message about the challenges that Flanders faces. He advocates compaction and motivated high-rise, also in rural areas.
An interview between bOb Van Reeth and Leo Van Broeck about the impact of a vision. Filip Canfyn moderates.
Filip Canfyn is a city and residential expert, columnist for architectura.be and author of, among others, vOlOp bOb, about the first Flemish architect Bob Van Reeth.
bOb Van Reeth Eminent architect with iconic designs, intelligent architect of Flanders and Antwerp, but especially wise thinker and talker. He has now opted for a life in the lame folds of time and yet he must not disappear from the daily scene in complete silence. He himself is not a man of noblesse oblige, so others have to watch out that his fire remains blazing for a long time. BOb deserves more than an architecture canon for the coffee table, more than pictures and talks. In his name language may sometimes become a drawing, in a booklet as hand luggage. To travel with you, to dig deeper, to get another sentence, to quietly chew, to catch again and again. A booklet that generously serves words and thoughts that can not only be eaten with the eyes but also with the fingers. A book with an authentic story, the subject itself says: ‘It is strange to read about yourself.’ An authorized bOb-ography, with more than one angle. The main character and the narrator have the express wish that this booklet is in the hands of everyone who loves architecture and above all of those who do not like architecture.
Leo Van Broeck graduated in 1981 as an engineer architect at KU Leuven. He has been working there since 1995 as a practical assistant and since 2006 as a professor of architectural and urban design. He is also involved as guest lecturer in various architectural programs and public organizations. In 1997 he founded the non-profit organization Stad en Architectuur. In 2007, together with Oana Bogdan, he founded the architectural firm Bogdan & Van Broeck, an office that is strongly focused on research and distinguishes itself through an active social commitment. In addition, Van Broeck has been chairman of the Royal Federation of Architects’ Associations of Belgium (FAB) since 2013.