The architectural heritage of Flanders is extraordinarily rich. The urban ensembles and the historic monuments of Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges and Ghent and countless smaller towns illustrate a long tradition of artistic ambition and communal civic pride. But Flanders is more than mediaeval cathedrals, baroque churches, beguinages and merchants houses. The contemporary Flemish architecture scene is one of the liveliest in Europe. Over the past two decades and supported by a generous far-sighted architectural policy of the Flemish government, construction programmes for public buildings and urban projects have resulted in a new cultural élan and a growing awareness for architectural quality.
The Flanders Architecture Institute is a publicly funded organisation which supports the architectural culture in Flanders in all its aspects. It is our aim to raise public awareness for the importance of a well-designed environment. Good architecture is the product of collective commitment, craftsmanship, social and artistic ambition. It is our task to stimulate the public debate on the design of buildings and cities, and to disseminate knowledge about architecture, urbanism, interiors and landscape architecture.
Based in deSingel – International Arts Campus in Antwerp, the Flanders Architecture Institute organises exhibitions, lectures and other public events. We also produce publications on architects and architecture from Flanders, exhibition catalogues and education packages. We are the prime address for finding information about Flemish designers and architects, about current developments in architectural policies, practice, public and academic debates on architecture in Flanders. The institute represents Flanders at international events and forums on architecture and collaborates with a network of architectural institutions in Europe and worldwide.
Architecture is a major part of our cultural heritage. Truly significant innovations in the field always rely on the awareness for the history of buildings and cities. Architectural archives play an important role in the development of a sustainable architectural culture. The Flemish Architecture Institute provides a home for the Centre for Flemish Architectural Archives (CVAa) which coordinates the acquisition of archives in the fields of architecture and interiors and supports the cooperation of the various archival institutions in Flanders. As part of the Flemish Architecture Institute, the CVAa initiates research activities in the area of architectural archives and develops and maintains up-to-date expertise on the conservation, organisation, description and selection of architectural archives, as such providing a connection between the heritage sector and architectural practice.
As the main support organisation for architecture the Flemish Architecture Institute offers a platform for everyone, individuals as well as organisations, in Flanders and elsewhere, who wants to contribute to the development of the culture of architecture, to good quality design and to a sustainable living environment.
Biennial Architecture Day in Flanders
Every two years the Flemish Architecture Institute coordinates the Architecture Day in Flanders, which presents new developments and current debates to a wider audience. Over one hundred recent projects, buildings, and public spaces are made freely accessible. Guided tours, debates and special media events help to generate an awareness of the built environment. In all this the Architecture Day is a moment of critical reflection, and of celebrating the contribution of architecture to our environment.
The Flanders Architecture Institute produces a variety of publications about architecture in Flanders, and the work of Flemish architects abroad. The biennial Architectural Review Flanders presents recent tendencies in the architectural production and provides critical reflections on the state of architecture in Flanders and Europe. Catalogues on prominent and emerging architects and writers present a cross section of particular architectural practices, of buildings and designs, theoretical contributions, studies and polemic interventions.
The publication series of the CVAa disseminate knowledge and experience on architecture history and archives in the form of manuals and monographic and thematic architectural guides, while offering reflections on the history of Flemish architecture.
The website of the Flanders Architecture Institute and the CVAa is the main source of information about contemporary architectural culture and the architectural heritage in Flanders. It provides facts and figures, dates and details about events and latest developments in the field of architecture. It offers a list of architectural and educational institutions and information on subsidies and funding for international projects. An extensive database of recent architectural projects is made accessible to the general public.
The specialised website of the CVAa offers virtual access to all registered architectural archives in Flanders and information on institutions, databases and events on architectural history and archive policies. A toolbox and F.A.Q.-page provide support to researchers, architectural practices and heritage organisations in their dealings with architectural archives.