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Architects and studios: Henry Van de Velde 1-5 / 5

Trip 1919–2019 /11/2019


This architectural journey immerses you in the history and the legacy of the Bauhaus. This training for visual artists, craftsmen and architects originated in Weimar in 1919, then moved to Dessau and was based in Berlin until 1932.

Lecture Magdalena Droste (D)

Sint-Autbertuskerk, Monasterium PoortAckere, Gent

Germany celebrates the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in 2019. Founded in 1919 in Weimar, moved to Dessau in 1925 and closed under pressure from Nazism in 1933 in Berlin, this progressive art school existed for only fourteen years. The legendary Bauhaus is still a source of inspiration worldwide.

Visit Daytrip Brussels

Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis, Brussel

Henry Van de Velde is perhaps the most important Belgian architect ever. In 2013 he is back in the spotlights: 150 years after his birth. A jubilee year. We visit the exhibitions in Brussels “Henry van de Velde – Passion Function Beauty”, “Letters of Architects” and a few of his achievements.

Lecture own work

De Boekentoren, Gent

By 2017 the Book Tower in Ghent will be restored, two hundred years after the founding of the university. Designed in 1934 by architect Henry Van de Velde, this monument is considered an icon of modernist architecture from the interwar period. The impressive building has been protected since 1992.

Lecture by Steven Jacobs

't Leerhuys, Brugge

What this period making so interesting is the fact that Van de Velde, as a more than sixty years old pioneer of the modern movement, sought affiliation with the new post-war generation of young modernist architects, without giving up his own artistic personality.

Henry Van de Velde

Henry Clemens van de Velde (°Antwerpen, 3 April 1863 – †Zürich, 15 October 1957) was a Belgian painter, architect and interior designer.

Together with Victor Horta and Paul Hankar he could be considered as one of the main founders and representatives of Art Nouveau in Belgium. He studied painting under Charles Verlat at the famous Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp. He then went on to study at Carolus-Duran in Paris. In 1899 he settled in Weimar, Germany, where in 1905 he established the Grand-Ducal School of Arts and Crafts, together with the Grand Duke of Weimar. It is the predecessor of the Bauhaus, which, following World War I, eventually replaced the School of Arts and Crafts, under new director Walter Gropius, who was suggested for the position by Van de Velde.

Although a Belgian, Van de Velde would play an important role in the German Werkbund, an association founded to help improve and promote German design by establishing close relations between industry and designers. He would oppose Hermann Muthesius at the Werkbund meeting of 1914 and their debate would mark the history of Modern Architecture. Van de Velde called for the upholding of the individuality of artists while Hermann Muthesius called for standardization as a key to development.

During World War I, Van de Velde, as a foreign national, was obliged to leave Weimar (although on good terms with the Weimar government), and returned to his native Belgium. Later, he lived in Switzerland and in the Netherlands where he designed the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo. In 1925 he was appointed professor at the Ghent University Institute of Art History and Archaeology, where he lectured architecture and applied arts from 1926 to 1936. He was instrumental in founding in Brussels, in 1926, today’s renowned architecture and visual arts school La Cambre, under the name of “Institut supérieur des Arts décoratifs.” He continued his practice in architecture and design, which had demarcated itself significantly from the Art Nouveau phase, whose popularity was by 1910 in decline. During this period, he mentored the great Belgian architect, Victor Bourgeois.