Living in Monnikenheide: Care, Inclusion and Architecture

Press release
Coverbeeld boek Monnikenheide Open Room by Richard Venlet - Boekpresentatie Vlaams Architectuurinstituut in DE SINGEL (Beeld: Kurt Deruyter)

Monnikenheide, pioneer of inclusive care architecture in Flanders

The Flanders Architecture Institute and architect-philosopher Gideon Boie have spared no effort in putting together a book about a unique architecture experiment: Monnikenheide. Founded in 1973 by Wivina and Paul Demeester, this care centre in Zoersel for people with a mental disability has become an international reference for inclusive care architecture. Over the past fifty years, architects such as b0b Van Reeth (AWG), Peter Swinnen (51N4E/CRIT.) and Dirk Somers (Bovenbouw) were given the opportunity to experiment as young designers with this exceptional design assignment. The result is a green estate full of high-quality architecture tailored to the residents and with a special connection to the neighbouring village.

Living in Monnikenheide: Care, Inclusion and Architecture | Available from 25.04.2023 on or in select bookshops

Book launch | 25.04.2023 at 20:00, DE SINGEL, Antwerp

"Fifty years after its foundation, Monnikenheide is a life-size architectural statement about the place of people with disabilities in our society."
‐ Gideon Boie, architect-philosopher (KU Leuven / Bavo)
"Monnikenheide actually tells me everything about who Wivina Demeester is. That it takes a village to raise a child is, for many parents, a hope, a complaint or a relief. Wivina Demeester not only dreamed of a village, she had one built. By the very best in the business"
‐ Thomas Vanderveken, radio and television producer
"The buildings at Monnikenheide show how architectural quality can be developed: the commissioners determined the social added value by indicating the position and thereby the relation to the context, while the designer translated this ambition into special houses for special people."
‐ Erik Wieërs, Flemish Government Architect
"To my mind, Monnikenheide is a radical experiment: radical in its rejection of the old logic of separation and invisibility, experimental in the principle underlying its architecture, one that embraces the otherness of every fellow human being."
‐ Sofie De Caigny, director Flanders Architecture Institute

Living in Monnikenheide

Care, Inclusion and Architecture

Living in Monnikenheide: Care, inclusion and architecture
is for sale during the opening event on 25 April
and in the bookshop of

book launch
Tuesday 25 April 2023 – 8 pm DE SINGEL
Desguinlei 25 2018 Antwerp (BE)
register here

Flanders Architecture Institute
Gideon Boie
Gideon Boie, Sofie De Caigny, Fredie Floré, Vjera Sleutel, Thomas Vanderveken, Heleen Verheyden and Erik Wieërs
projects by
Luc Van den Broeck, Bruno Boulanger, Mark Depreeuw, b0b Van Reeth/ArchitectenWerkGroep, Maarten Van Severen, Architectuurgroep Jo Peeters, Huiswerk architecten, Vermeiren De Coster Architecten, Richard Venlet, 51N4E, UR architects, FELT architecture & design
Kurt Deruyter
graphic design
Ine Meganck and Isabel Motz
number of pages

Press contract

Egon Verleye
communications & PR
Flanders Architecture Institute
T +32 (0)3 242 89 73