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Georges Baines

Georges Baines (°Antwerp, May 7, 1925 – there, May 22, 2013) was a Belgian architect.

He belonged to the small group of Belgian architects who sought consciously connection after the war with the artistic avant-garde of the 20s. His work is distinguished by a clear simplicity and sober sophistication. Initially he spent mostly individual houses set up, later public buildings and restorations. In 1999 he received the title of knight because of personal merit.

Baines grew up in an artistic environment and was initially mainly interested in painting. During his secondary school he befriended connoisseur Paul Haesaerts which brought him into contact with the Flemish expressionism and contemporary developments. He studied architecture at the Antwerp NHIBS (1943-50) but was disappointed at the superficial level of the education provided there then. He did not have access to the achievements of modernism, not even Leon Stynen, with whom he graduated and then worked for a year as an intern. To escape the disorientation that prevailed in the Belgian architecture after the war, Baines sought footholds in international developments. He made study tours in Scandinavia and Switzerland where he became friends with Alfred Roth, who introduced him to the world of abstract art. Roth Baines brought into contact with avant-garde artists like Max Bill, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart and Georges Vantongerloo. He rediscovered the architecture through painting. He also developed a strong interest in the work of Le Corbusier and Aldo van Eyck. After his participation in the summer school of CIAM in Venice (1952), Baines started his own firm in Antwerp. Baines was during his active career teacher architectural design and the Antwerp NHIBS (1965-1990).

His early work is characterized by a moderate modernism, referring to the Scandinavian regionalism. Since 1985 Baines would focus on the restoration of modernist buildings. In 1994 he received the Grand Prix of Belgium Architecture for his entire oeuvre.