Tag Archives: architecture

RIP Juliaan Lampens (1926 – 2019)

Juliaan Lampens was a Belgian architect whose name has become associated with brutalism.

Photo: detail of one of the Lampens facades. photo by Pirre Pluymers.
Photo: detail of one of the Lampens facades. Photo by Pirre Pluymers.

Brutalism is architecture which makes ostentative use of béton brut (French for raw concrete).

The aesthetic is the last phase in modernist architecture (before the advent of postmodern architecture) and it was heavily criticized by Charles, Prince of Wales, author of A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture (1989).

For lovers of the style, which includes myself, a big part of the attraction is that the imprint of the wood grain from the formwork of the concrete can be seen on the exterior concrete of brutalist structures.

Juliaan Lampens’s most famous building is the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Kapel van Kerselare in Edelare, which I visited in 2014 and 2019.

They also bless new cars there.

In praise of artificial ruins

 

A cross section of the Broken Column House at the Désert de Retz as recorded in Les jardins anglo-chinois by Georges-Louis Le Rouge, 1785 [1]

A cross section of the Broken Column House at the Désert de Retz as recorded in Les jardins anglo-chinois by Georges-Louis Le Rouge, 1785

A cross section of the Broken Column House as recorded in Les jardins anglo-chinois by Georges-Louis Le Rouge, 1785 [1].

The Broken Column House (the “colonne brisée”, or ruined column) is an artificial ruin in the French landscape garden Désert de Retz.