On 24 January 2021 architect Christian Kieckens (1951-2020) would have turned 70. To put the oeuvre of this influencial architect in the spotlight, the family and friends of Kieckens present a digital hommage.
On Sunday 24 January 2021, architect Christian Kieckens would have turned 70. In the sunny month of May 2020, we said goodbye to him in the crematorium in Zemst, a building that he had designed. This had to take place in a limited circle due to the pandemic. The plan was to organise a memorial event in autumn 2020 or early 2021, a gathering of friends and former students to honour Christian. Due to the corona virus, arranging such a gathering has proved impossible. Yet we did not want his birthday to go unremarked. A number of initiatives have taken place that we would like to share.
The Flanders Architecture Institute opened a register of condolences in May and his sudden death resounded in the press and international professional journals. An in memoriam appeared in the Flanders Architectural Review no.14 and in the magazine A+. In the meantime, a piece of furniture – the face2face work table from 1996 – was acquired by the Design Museum Ghent. In the summer of 2020, A Temporary Monument for Brussels #7 OTHER / THE by Peter Downsbrough was installed on the Sainctelette Square in Brussels and dedicated to Christian.
In June, Filip Dujardin photographed Christian’s flat, the space in which he lived and worked. The Flanders Architecture Institute received his sketches and library, donated by the family as a valuable addition to an earlier gift made by Christian in 2015. The richness of the archive will be systematically unveiled, both on the VAi website and in a project on architectural competitions. The website http://www.christiankieckens.b... is still available for consultation. Finally, we would also like to provide the link to an interview from 2016, given on the occasion of the exhibition Een meubel is ook een huis [A piece of furniture is also a house] at the Design Museum Ghent.
We thank him for his mentorship, his work, his generosity and so much more.
On behalf of the family,
Yves Kieckens and Reinhilde Lauwereins
Katrien Vandermarliere, Kelly Hendriks, Els Vande Kerckhove, Marc Dubois.
The death of Christian Kieckens gained a lot of national and international media attention.
Having earned his diploma in architecture in 1974, Kieckens has played a significant role in Belgium's architectural world not only as an architect and an educator, but also because of his passion for art and culture. In 1981 he received the Godecharle Award for Architecture, and the Flemish Culture Award for Architecture in 1999.
Through his ability to bring together language, philosophy, visual art and architecture, Kieckens was a veritable reincarnation of the Renaissance architect. A founding member of the Stichting Architectuurmuseum – The Architecture Museum Foundation – he helped to create the basis for the rich and diverse contemporary architectural culture of Flanders and Belgium.
With his passing we lose an important mentor and a rich and generous personality who will be speaking to us from now on through his work.
(Katrien Vandermarliere and Koen Van Synghel)More Christian Kieckens Kieckens Archive
Not only was he an architect and a mentor, Christian Kieckens was also a gifted photographer. During the funeral ceremony in May 2020, photo's of Milan, Venice, Switzerland, Baroque architecture and an impressive array of mountains and clouds were projected.
In 2014, Christian Kieckens donated his extensive archive to the former Architectural Archives of the Province of Antwerp (now part of the Flanders Architecture Institute collection). This meticulously composed ensemble of artefacts spans his entire career from 1974 to the present day. For Kieckens, it had a clear task: “The archive preserves, reaches out and distances itself.”Christian Kieckens archive