Photos of the last event
Stefano Boeri
12:00 - Flagey

Stefano Boeri

The Stefano Boeri Architetti studio (previously Boeri studio)was founded in Milan in 1993 and now has 70 collaborators spread across offices in Milan, Shanghai and Tirana.

Over the years, the studio has become a benchmark for biodiversity and sustainable architecture, as well as social housing and urban development on different scales, both in Italy and internationally.

Stefano Boeri Architetti has received numerous international prizes, confirming the relevance of its approach, which is recognised by the architectural community worldwide. Completed in 2014, Bosco Verticale has become the new symbol of Milan and the global icon of biodiversity. The recognition was total when, in the same year, 2015, the tower was named the Best Tall Building Worldwide by CTBUH (Chicago) and received the Best Tall Building award from DAM (Frankfurt).

For the design process, Stefano Boeri Architetti relies on a vast network of professionals. Engineers, landscape architects, agronomists and sociologists collaborate in a continuous multidisciplinary dialogue that has allowed the firm to develop specific and innovative solutions for a wide range of territorial and socio-economic environments.

Since 2014, Stefano Boeri Architetti has also had an office in Shanghai. The projects underway in China include the Nanjing Vertical Forest, two towers that integrate into the architecture of their facades 800 trees of 27 local varieties and 2 500 cascading plants and shrubs. This vegetation will absorb 18 tonnes of CO2 annually and produce 16.5 tonnes of oxygen. An urban, technological and conceptual extension of Vertical Forest, the Forest City project, which was presented for the first time at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21), is a model of a sustainable city, capable of consuming tonnes of CO2 and producing oxygen in one of the most polluted areas in the world, namely the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

In 2015, Stefano Boeri Architetti opened another office in Tirana, where collaborators are working on the Tirana 2030 master plan. The plan aims to redefine the Albanian capital as a new metropolitan city and is considered to be the most ambitious urban reform programme in Albania for 25 years.

Some of the studio’s other projects and achievements in various parts of the world include the development of the “Maspero Triangle”, a complex of towers and public facilities along the Nile waterfront in the heart of downtown Cairo, the new head office of RCS - Corriere della Sera in Rome, and the Palazzo Verde at Nieuw Zuid in Antwerp, the architect’s first project in Belgium.

Stefano Boeri Architetti combines its design activity with research into architecture and the city. For this the firm can draw on Stefano Boeri’s experience as the director of magazines like Domus and Abitare. His research work has been presented at various international exhibitions (the Venice Biennale, the Chengdu Biennale, Beijing Design Week, …) and he has published in numerous national and international magazines. Acknowledged as a leader in his field, Stefano Boeri has recently been appointed as President of the Fondazione La Triennale in Milan, the most important institution for the transmission of architectural culture in Italy.

Previous guests

Stephen Bates/Sergison Bates

30.03.2022 - Founded in 1996, Sergison Bates is one of the UK's leading architectural firms.
Today it employs around 30 professionals in offices in London, Zurich and Brussels, working on major urban projects across Europe.

Current developments include large-scale residential complexes in Antwerp, London, Munich and Versailles, the creation of a performing arts district in Leuven and, of course, the transformation of the former Citroen garage into the new KANAL-Centre Pompidou cultural centre in Brussels. The latter two projects will serve as catalysts for the regeneration of the surrounding areas.

Whereas the projects carried out today cover all categories, the firm has always attached great importance on housing, exploring diligently models to find relevant responses to the changing social demography of our time. Working on behalf of local authorities, housing associations and private developers, the firm has developed expertise in managing the many constraints inherent in this type of construction: space, budget, regulations, sustainable development requirements, etc.

Sergison Bates is also known for its expertise in the craft of construction. They like to experiment and propose buildings that express the character of different materials and their combination.

In terms of sustainability, they adopt a holistic approach: they believe that it is essential to view buildings as a series of layers, each with its own temporal dimension. If the structure is to last for centuries, the life of the installations, interiors and finishes is necessarily much shorter. Intelligent buildings must be able to be reconfigured and reorganized to respond to changing occupancy patterns and technological innovations.

Committed to a research-led approach and supported by the academic work of partners, the firm has won prestigious awards including the Erich Schelling Prize, the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal and several Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards. Two of their projects have been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2022. Their work has been widely exhibited in Europe and the US, most recently at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. A retrospective of their 25 years of practice, 'The Practice of Architecture', was recently exhibited at the Museum im Bellpark in Kriens, Switzerland.

Bas Smets

04.10.2021 - The Belgian landscape architect Bas Smets is a man of conviction. For him, there is an urgent need to rethink the city so as to make it more resilient. To do this, cities have to be demineralized, the earth must be allowed to breathe, rainwater must be allowed to percolate back into the soil and habitable ecosystems must be recreated.

His latest creation, the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, is a "miracle" as he has transformed an arid, dry space into a vast 33-hectare Mediterranean park, replete with plants and trees, created from a completely mineral space! The Parc des Ateliers has become a research and experimental project for the entire region.

The projects of Bas Smets’s firm  range in scale from territorial visions to infrastructural landscapes, from large parks to private gardens -- always with a distinctive will to invent "augmented landscapes" using the rationale of nature. These augmented landscapes produce a new climate while creating new atmospheres. Cooperation with artists and scientists is central to this endeavour.

The projects by Bas Smets include the Tour & Taxis park, the Saint-Gilles square, the public space around the Trinity Tower in Paris La Défense, the Sunken Garden in London, the Himara Waterfront in Albania, ....

Several of his major projects are currently underway, such as the urban forest around the Part Dieu train station in Lyon, the Nieuw Zuid [New South] project in Antwerp and the sculpture park in Amagansett, New York.

Bas Smets holds a master's degree in architecture and civil engineering from the University of Leuven and a master's degree in landscape from the University of Geneva. He has taught at numerous schools such as the École d'Architecture la Cambre [La Cambre School of Architecture] in Brussels, the École Spéciale d'Architecture [Special School of Architecture] in Paris and the Technische Universität [Technical University] in Graz.

In 2008, he was awarded  the French biennial prize for young landscape architects "Les Nouveaux Albums des Jeunes Architectes et des Paysagistes" [The New Albums of Young Architects and Landscape Architects]. A first monographic exhibition was held in 2013 by the Singel International Arts Centre and the Arc en Rêve [Dreambow] architecture centre in Bordeaux.

In 2017, he was appointed general curator of the Bordeaux Architecture Biennial and in 2018 received the urban planning award from the French Academy of Architecture.

Rudy Ricciotti

17.06.2021 - For our next special conference on concrete, we are pleased to welcome Rudy Ricciotti. An architect and engineer, winner of the National Architecture Grand Prix, and Gold Medal of the Academy of Architecture, Rudy Ricciotti is representative of the generation of architects who combine creative power with a true construction culture.

A pioneer and ambassador of concrete, he sublimates innovative concrete structures in many outstanding buildings such as the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM) in Marseille, the Arkéa Arena (formerly known as the Bordeaux Métropole Arena), the Department of Islamic Arts at the Louvre Museum, the FRAC (regional contemporary art collection) in Caen, but also with the Footbridge of Peace in Seoul or, closer to us, the La Boverie Museum in Liège.

His dual training as an engineer and architect is echoed in his work where technological innovation is used to get back to the primal qualities of architecture.
As a proponent of local architecture, he wishes to produce architecture that tells a story and shares feelings about a territory. His preferred material to that end is concrete -- the source of a responsible economy, one which requires absolute mastery for specialized work of great complexity. 

A tireless polemist, Rudy Ricciotti is also the author of numerous books and pamphlets.

POLO Architects

14.09.2020 - Created by Mauro Poponcini and Patrick Lootens, Polo architects has grown very rapidly and now employs 100 people in their offices in Antwerp and Brussels.

It all began when the two young architects, then barely in their thirties, won the competition to build the Belgacom headquarters in Hasselt, a 30,000 m² project.

The firm has expanded from that moment on as emblematic projects followed one after the other in Belgium and abroad. They include the AP Hogeschool Antwerpen [Antwerp AP College], which is due to be extended in the near future, the Diagonal-Besòs Campus, a university housing complex in Barcelona, the Yust, a new concept that redefines the codes of housing and coworking, and Barefoot Luxury Villas, a residential development in Cape Verde that combines cutting-edge technologies and local expertise, or Red Cross Care, nominated for the 2020 MIPIM Awards, which provides accommodation for people who, for reasons of illness, old age, social circumstances or other limitations, cannot afford to go on holiday in a place conducive to relaxation and a change of scenery.

The film’s strength lies in the combination of different practices that combine urban planning, architecture and interior design. The projects are varied in terms of issues, function, scale, programme and context. It is a deliberate choice on the part of Polo Architects, a firm that aspires to develop the most varied experience so as to push back the boundaries and hone the skills of its teams relentlessly.

Anne Lacaton/Lacaton & Vassal

22.01.2020 - Jean-Philippe Vassal and Anne Lacaton joined forces in 1987 to create the firm Lacaton & Vassal.

Particularly sensitive to the soul of the places they indwell, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal consider themselves as architects not intent on creating sophisticated architectural objects. They attach the utmost importance to the notion of inhabiting which, with the context, constitutes the starting point of their project. Their prime tenet is to consider space from the interior to the exterior so as to transcend the scale of the dwelling and attain the urban dimension.

Their philosophy is to work on the economy of means without however falling into a standardized architecture devoid of meaning. Quite the contrary, they believe that designing with due consideration for the cost, means and resources, “stimulates the intelligence (…) to do the most possible with the least possible.”

Their projects pertain to the individual dwelling, social housing and public commissions. Their most emblematic projects include: the FRAC Nord Pas de Calais, the industrial site of the Palais de Tokyo, the School of Architecture in Nantes, the extension of the Tour Bois le Prêtre social housing complex, and more recently that of the Grand Parc in Bordeaux – projects for which they have won numerous prizes: the Grand Prix National de l’architecture [National Grand Prize for Architecture] and the Équerre d’argent [Silver Saure], and above all, in 2019, the prestigious Mies van der Rohe prize.

Sou Fujimoto

02.10.2019 - To launch our fifth season, we are delighted to welcome Sou Fujimoto, one of the leading figures of Japanese minimalist architecture, hailed as architect of the year in Japan (JIA Prize).  

Born in 1971, he designs airy and transparent buildings capable of ensuring a smooth transition between private and public spaces. The innovative character of his works does not stem from a search for complex forms. Quite the contrary, Sou Fujimoto relies on simple geometric forms where the combinations between the parts are of paramount importance.  His reflections produce ground-breaking results reminiscent of the innovative wind of his spiritual mentor Le Corbusier. Man and nature, interior and exterior, past and future, hollow and filled, intimacy and bonding, are the structuring elements of Sou Fujimoto’s work. He often resorts to natural metaphors to describe his work. He returns to the essence of being human and the relation with human society as the basis of each project.

Sou Fujimoto sees architecture as the art of building places for separating and linking and hopes that his edifices leave room not only for transparency, division and identification, but also a wide range of relations between individuals as well as between the individual and society. A place must have the capacity to create open-mindedness, empathy and solidarity  -- an entire programme which we invite you to discover through his projects, built or otherwise, such as L’arbre Blanc [the White Tree] delivered this year in Montpellier, the Mille Arbres [Thousand Trees] project in Paris, considered as a model for 21st century urban planning, and the House of Music in Budapest, or the Delta Tower in Brussels.  

Designed by his offices in Tokyo and Paris, his projects are attracting attention from the world over, as attested by the impressive number of prizes, citations and competitions won by the firm as well as the many exhibitions and books devoted to the work of Sou Fujimoto.  

OFFICE - Kersten Geers & David Van Severen

04.06.2019 - OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen was founded in 2002 by Kersten Geers and David Van Severen. OFFICE is renowned for its idiosyncratic architecture, in which realisations and theoretical projects stand side by side. The projects are direct, spatial and firmly rooted in architectural theory. The firm reduces architecture to its very essence and most original form: a limited set of basic geometric rules is used to create a framework within which life unfolds out in all its complexity.

Since its establishment OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen has earned a reputation as one of Belgium’s most successful and renowned practices, and one of the world’s truly original voices in present-day architecture.

OFFICE engages in all architectural and urbanist design, creating projects of all scales ranging from furniture to masterplanning in Belgium as well as internationally. This practice is combined with academic research and teaching. These two aspects of OFFICE’s work are explicitly each other’s mirror, creating unexpected parallels between academic and practical work.

David Chipperfield

02.04.2019 - David Chipperfield is the master planner and architect of many of the world’s most prestigious cultural and commercial projects, from the extension and refurbishment of the Neues Museum in Berlin (2009) and the Saint Louis Art Museum in Missouri (completed in 2013) to his most recent, transformational refurbishment of the Royal Academy’s Burlington House and the adjacent Burlington Gardens site into one connected cultural campus.

Recognized for his prestigious cultural projects, David Chipperfield has not abandoned “day-to-day” construction. He is endeavouring for an architectural culture based on common values: erudition, responsibility and reflection.

Eschewing the seductions of flamboyant, statement architecture, his sculptural, often understated interventions seem to work all the more effectively to improve and enhance the function as well as the experience of the original buildings. Architecture should not exist on its own. There is no reason for it to exist as an independent thing in itself, except for the glory of the architect.

His work is characterized by his mastery of simplicity and proper use of raw materials. While his new build structures may lack the bling of his fellow starchitects, but through form, materials and character they channel something of the qualities and aspirations of their locations, drawing affection and popularity from locals and visitors alike (the Turner Contemporary in Margate and the Hepworth Wakefield, in particular).

With offices in Berlin, London, Milan and Shanghai, David Chipperfield is not averse to creating large luxury office and apartment blocks, but really comes into his own with culturally and historically sensitive buildings, such as the Inagawa cemetery chapel and visitor centre in Hyogo, Japan (2017). He is in mid refurbishment of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, which is due to reopen in 2020.

Kim Herforth Nielsen/3XN

12.02.2019 - Architecture shapes behaviour is the baseline of the Danish firm 3XN: “We think that architecture can influence behaviour. That is why we are endeavouring to create spaces that stimulate interaction and induce synergies. “

Created in Aarhus (Denmark) in 1986 by Kim Herforth Nielsen,  3XN today has more than 110 architects in 4 offices throughout the world (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Sydney and New York).

Although the firm works on a global scale, it remains firmly committed to its Scandinavian roots and humanist values. This identity enables it to reinvent tradition with a clear understanding of the challenges of the 21st century. GXN, an internal research and development agency geared to the integration of new material and technologies in the firm’s projects, was created for that purpose.

For 3XN, the context is paramount. The project must be integrated in it and provide something new and something positive. Similarly, the complexity and challenges are seen as positive incentives to create a differentiating architecture.

3XN is today recognized as one of the most innovative architecture firms. It designs architecture whose main objective is to create a social bond and synergies and to improve well-being. This philosophy is reflected in all its projects such as the Sportarena in Munich, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, Orestad College in Denmark, which is renowned throughout the world for its innovative architecture, or the future Fish Market in Sydney and the esplanade of the Grognon in Namur.

Ellen van Loon/OMA

01.10.2018 - Set up in 1975 by Rem Koolhaas, OMA is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. Ellen van Loon is one of the partners leading the offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha and Dubai.
OMA’s buildings and masterplans around the world insist on intelligent forms while inventing new possibilities for content and everyday use. AMO, its sister company, is a research and design studio that works in areas beyond architecture that today have an increasing influence on architecture itself: media, politics, renewable energy, technology, publishing, fashion. AMO often works in parallel with OMA's clients to fertilize architecture with intelligence from this array of disciplines.

The main objective of any design exercise executed within the ?rm is to provide the client with new, original concepts and a practical architecture with visionary ambitions. In all projects, OMA strives to go beyond the standard solution and is consequently able to de?ne new typologies. Its strategy to tackle projects is based on two fundamental principles: research and collaboration.

Within research, OMA’s philosophy rejects any rush to architectural form. It is its proven experience that by taking adequate time to think with the clients before starting to design, the practice can ultimately accelerate the design process and provide buildings of greater quality for a given budget.

During every phase of the design process, OMA leads an extended series of intimate collaborations—brainstorm sessions, presentations and workshops—between clients, engineers, architects and other crucial participants of intellectual collaborations such as curators, sociologists, and anthropologists mobilized by AMO think tank; as well as practical collaborators such as cost estimators, construction managers, contractors, and specialty consultants.

Through these events, programmatic and engineering concepts are fully integrated in the formation of the initial design concepts, rather than being an ‘afterthought’ to aesthetic imperatives; this provides the client with the maximum built quality. By means of this approach, the knowledge of all advisors can be used to come up with an optimal design from which all criteria have been analyzed. The design is therefore a product, which is realized in close collaboration with the client.

OMA's completed recent projects include Fondazione Prada, DAC/BLOX in Copenhagen, Rothschild's London headquarters and Fondation d'Entreprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Earlier buildings include Casa da Música in Porto,Euralille masterplan,  CCTV Headquarters in Beijing and Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003).

OMA-designed buildings currently under construction include Taipei Performing Arts Centre, the Axel Springer Campus and the renovation of Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin, the RAI NHow Hotel in Amsterdam, Norra Tornen in Stockholm and Prince Plaza in Shenzhen.

Dietmar Eberle /Baumschlager Eberle

04.06.2018 - In 1985 Dietmar Eberle and Carlo Baumschlager found an architectural firm in Vorarlberg, Austria. The ideas of the Vorarlberger wood craftsmen were influential in the earlier phase of the firm. Social responsibility, economics, husbanding of resources and social acceptance are cornerstones of what goes into planning. Research at the level of the building and façade type, flow as a formative moment in the method of the firm.

The firm is systematically built up on an international level in the 1990s. Projects like the headquarters for Munich Reinsurance and the Vienna airport building attract attention and recognition beyond the borders of Austria.

In addition to the start-up office in Lochau in 1999 a subsidiary is founded in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. In 2001 Vienna is added. The 21st century begins a period of rapid growth. Offices are set up in St. Gallen (2006), Zurich (2007), Hong Kong (2008), Berlin (2010), Hanoi (2011), Paris (2012), Hamburg (2013), and subsidiaries in Saigon (2015) and Shanghai (2016) are created. Along with the ongoing internationalization, Baumschlager Eberle Architekten is organized as a holding company. The firm is currently active and present in twelve locations in Europe and Asia. Architecture in each location is the result of intensive and manifold teamwork. There are 203 employees from 21 countries speaking 19 languages in the offices.

For Baumshlager Eberle, good architecture is defined by the context and a good building is always an expression of dealing with the location at hand. That becomes clear in various degrees in a selection of projects: la Maison du Savoir in Luxembourg, the Courthouse in Caen, the Imperia Sky Garden in Hanoi and the future Headquarters of BNP Paribas Fortis in Brussels.

Emanuel Christ/Christ & Gantenbein

22.01.2018 - On Monday, 22 January, Lunch with an Architect will play host to Emanuel Christ, one of the two founders of the Swiss firm  Christ & Gantenbein.

The daily “Le Temps” recently ran the following headline: Does Swiss architecture exist?
A vast question… Switzerland certainly seems to be a fertile ground for architecture with household names such as Le Corbusier, Peter Zumthor, Herzog & de Meuron or Valerio Olgiati. These architects are all characterized by minimalism, total control of the materials, in particular ultrasmooth concrete, a penchant for pure lines and large structures that punctuate the landscape.

Emanuel Christ & Christoph Gantenbein are regularly cited as the standard bearers of the new generation of Swiss architects, or even the wonder boys of this new wave.

Created in 1998, the firm boasts 35 architects based in Basel. From the Vaugirard social housing in Paris to the Aquila tower in Pratteln, via the future competence centre of the chocolate maker  Lindt & Sprüngli, the projects of Christ & Gantenbein are emblematic of a pure architecture that goes back to basics and turns its back on the effects of show architecture. They are also known for their expertise in museum architecture:  Their most recent projects include the Art Museum in Basel and the National Museum in Zurich, both of which have won prizes. The firm is also a candidate for the Citroën Museum in Brussels.  Stay tuned!

Jakob Sand/BIG

09.10.2017 - On Monday, October 9, we will be hosting Jakob Sand, Partner at BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group. BIG is a New York and Copenhagen based group of architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, of projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.

BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes, not least due to the influence of multicultural exchange, global economic flows, and communication technologies that together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. Like a form of programmatic alchemy, BIG creates architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such as living, leisure, working, parking, and shopping; by hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatism and utopia, BIG finds the freedom to change the surface of our planet to better fit contemporary life forms.

BIG was recently distinguished with a National AIA Honor Award, Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year Prize, and Architizer’s Firm of the Year Award. Recently completed projects include Via 57 West an 80,000m2 mixed-use ‘courtscraper’, the new LEGO Experience Center in Billund or the future San Pellegrino bottling factory in Italy.

Julien De Smedt/JDS Architects

08.06.2017 - On Thursday 8th June, we will be playing host to Julien De Smedt of JDS Architects, a Belgian architect with international influence. JDS Architects was set up in 2006. It employs 30 people and has offices in Copenhagen, Brussels and Shanghai.

A glance at the work of JDS Architects gives us an idea of the international nature of the agency: from the ski jump for the world championships in Oslo (rated among the Top 10 travel destinations by Lonely Planet)through to a “campus” of offices in Istanbul and including the Iceberg dwellings in Aarhus, Denmark, or the H-Gate Project in Hangzhou, China. Based in Brussels, JDS is expanding its European portfolio, which comprises, among other things, the police station in Antwerp, the Conference Centre in Charleroi and Maison Stéphane Hessel in Lille.

Regardless of scale, those projects show an approach that is enthusiastic in its ambition, professional in its process and deeply socially conscious in its conclusions. JDS Architects has received numerous honours and awards for its work, including the prestigious Maaskant Prize and a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.

Manuel Aires Mateus

23.01.2017 - On Monday, the 23rd of January, Lunch with an Architect will be hosting the Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus. He is one of the two brothers that head up the eponymous firm Aires Mateus, which employs 30 at its Lisbon offices.

Since Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, Portuguese architecture has coined its own vocabulary and developed its own syntax, recognisable by its expressive minimalism. The Aires Mateus brothers are fluent in this language. Aires Mateus is a firm whose various projects communicate the fundamental principles of their architecture, managing a certain rigour without the coldness sometimes associated with it: the purity and simplicity of the design, an overall geometry that scrupulously gives due consideration to the internal volumes and a play between solids and voids sometimes interspersed with light, artificial or natural.

2017 will be a pivotal year for Aires Mateus with the opening of the Centre of Contemporary Creation in Tours, the Faculty of Architecture in Tournai or the on-going work on the ambitious projects of the new museum hub in Lausanne and the Muslim Centre in Bordeaux.

Snøhetta/Jenny Osuldsen

28.09.2016 - On the 28th of September, ‘Lunch with an Architect’ has the pleasure of hosting Snøhetta, a Norwegian agency based in Oslo and New York.

Snøhetta has 180 employees of 30 different nationalities and develops projects in Europe, Asia and the United States. Some of its latest creations can be found in San Francisco (SF MOMA), Paris (new headquarters of Le Monde) and New York (September 11 Memorial).

Set up from the outset as an integrated firm of landscapers, architects and interior designers, the firm’s projects are characterised by this deliberately interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach.

Snøhetta’s hallmark is the osmosis that it naturally creates between landscape and architecture. Snøhetta integrates these two elements into a single process of creation and designs each project as a fragment of territory, with its own geography, climate and society, rather than as an object:
"Minimalist and hyper-contextual, Snøhetta’s architecture always seeks to take a back seat to the site itself, to bring out the readability and coherence of its environment".

Snøhetta cultivates an architecture that is sensitive, meaningful, almost metaphysical, integrating the most intangible and fluctuating elements of reality: the passage of time, the weather, light, seasons, movement.

Winy Maas/MVRDV

06.06.2016 - MVRDV was founded in 1991 in Rotterdam at the initiative of Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries.

850 000 m2 under construction, 5000 hectares of urban planning throughout the world, a team that has gone from 60 to 120 people in one year, many prestigious awards, including more than 15 for the very emblematic Markthal in Rotterdam: this, in a nutshell, is the vertiginous progress of this Dutch firm, recognized as one of the most influential in terms of contemporary creativity.

MVRDV is developing an architectural vision for a more ambitious, more optimistic, more efficient, more ecological and more compact city. An innovative, inspired and conceptual architecture that finds its rightful place in an enthusiastic outlook for the future and assumes a role of antidote to the crisis in all sectors (retail, offices, sports, residential, major projects) and on all continents, with the same passion and a quality crowned with many prizes.

Winy Maas will take us on a worldwide tour to present various iconic projects of the firm: the Dutch pavilion at the Hanover expo, Soloda, Villa VPRO, Markthal, the Rødovre Skysvillage in Copenhagen or the Grand Paris.

…. They all attest to MVRDV’s unrelenting quests for density and diversity of functions, leading to original combinations between extremely varied elements.

Xaveer De Geyter/XDGA

03.02.2016 - XDGA is an internationally oriented Brussels based office founded by Xaveer De Geyter, practising architecture, urbanism and landscape design on different scales and levels.
During the twenty years of its existence XDGA has participated in a large number of international competitions allowing the office to build up a portfolio illustrating its approach in architecture and urbanism. Today the office numbers 50 collaborators of 11 different nationalities and has offices in Brussels and Paris.

XDGA projects currently under construction include the subway station and public square Place Rogier in Brussels, the new headquarters for the province of Antwerp, a care centre for the elderly in Antwerp, a housing complex in Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris), the regeneration of the entrepot Mac Donald in Paris, and the master plan Paris-Saclay.

XDGA internationally rewarded projects include amongst others, the five housing towers in Breda (Mies Van de Rohe nomination), the Îlot Saint Maurice urban plan in Lille (Prix de l’urbanisme de France), the Elishout Kitchen tower in Brussels (BIGMAT AWARD, Grand International Prize).

The office was also rewarded with the 2013 Belgian Award for Architecture in the category public buildings and Xaveer De Geyter was awarded the Flemish biennial Cultural Award for Architecture 2014. Three travelling solo exhibitions on the work of XDGA have been on view and are accompanied with a publication: 12 Projects, 2001, After-Sprawl, 2002 and since 2013, XDGA_160_Expo.

Recent first placed competitions include the design of the waterfront in Vlora (Albania), the design for the Schuman Square in Brussels and a school building in Ghent.

Kengo Kuma

21.09.2015 - Born in 1954 in Yokohama (Japan), Kengo Kuma is one of the most influential Japanese architects.
His architecture is a form of poetry consisting of light, transparency and dialogue of materials.

He has won numerous international prizes. His works can be found in Japan, the United States and Europe. His architecture is geared to striking a balance with the environment under all circumstances so that each of his new structures can find its natural place in the environment as if it had always been there. The simplicity of the architectural gesture and an extensive use of natural materials draw inspiration from Japanese traditional architecture.

His most recent works in Europe include the Cité de la Musique [City of Music] in Besançon (2012), the Fond Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC) [Regional Collection of Contemporary Art] in Marseille (2013), the Conservatoire de Musique [Music Conservatory] in Aix-en-Provence (2013) and the athletic and educational centre of the Entrepot Macdonald [MacDonald Warehouse] in Paris (2014)

By way of conclusion, projects currently underway include the new Victoria & Albert Museum building in Dundee, Scotland, the “Under One Roof” building for the  Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL) [Lausanne Polytechnic School] , and the Green Innovation Factory in Trent, which consists of turning a 50,000 m² factor into a real laboratory for the promotion of sustainable construction. Finally, we should mention that Kengo Kuma was chosen to design the new, emblematic Saint Denis Pleyel train station in Paris, which will be a single connection hub for 4 lines of the Grand Paris Express.

Kengo Kuma is concurrently working on many projects in Japan, China, Taiwan and the United States.


Lunch with an Architect is intended as a forum for reflection and discussion to improve the quality of architecture in Brussels.

Through 3 meetings a year, Lunch with an Architect, in cooperation with Flagey, provides the real estate world with a window on the major contemporary events in the world of architecture, the more specifically Belgian issues, and the emblematic projects under way. 

Practical information

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM Flagey
Place Ste Croix, 1050 Brussels
Stefano Boeri 108€*


A certificate of attendance will be issued upon request.

* possible discount for architects younger than 30 : contact us


Lunch with an Architect is a private initiative made possible by the involvement of committed partners who want to improve the quality of architecture in our cities.

Besix Real Estate Development (BESIXRED) is a property development company specialized in sectors such as residential and offices buildings and buildings destined to be hotels, commercial and other service related premises.
BESIXRED is a subsidiary of the BESIX Group, a construction company with an international reputation.
The projects developed by BESIXRED range from residential buildings of only a few tens of thousands of square metres to complexes of much greater size. The one abiding constant is to respond to client needs, whether they be private, public or institutional investors.
BESIXRED is composed of a multidisciplinary and highly talented team with one mission, from the design stage onwards, to maximize the pleasure of living and working in our buildings, to optimize the environmental, economic and technical factors, and also to offer a high level of quality and an excellent after-sales service.
With its expertise of 27 years and recent impressive growth, BESIXRED is committed to diversification and geographical expansion of its activities into France and Poland, based on the strength of a group which has been in existence for more than a century.

Dans le cadre de mes compétences en aménagement du territoire, urbanisme, rénovation urbaine mais également en patrimoine, c’est avec enthousiasme que je soutiens ce type d’initiative. Il s’agit là d’une manière simple mais efficace d’élargir nos connaissances en architecture mais aussi de bousculer les conceptions, parfois trop figées, que nous avons de ce que doit être une architecture de qualité. Je l’ai déjà dit, mais je me plais à le répéter :
Bruxelles a besoin que l’on sublime ses nombreux atouts…parmi lesquels, bien sûr, l’architecture a un rôle de premier plan à jouer. D’abord, dans l’identité de notre capitale et dans la définition de sa perception pour et par les bruxellois, ensuite, dans l’attrait qu’une architecture de qualité représente pour le tourisme. Faire le saut d’une architecture innovante, c’est réapprendre à se faire confiance. Multiplier les lieux de discussions et de réflexions à ce sujet est, j’en suis convaincu, vecteur de créativité. « Lunch with an architect » est donc l’occasion de susciter la rencontre et l’échange, autour d’une matière : l’architecture.

Rudi VERVOORT Ministre-Président du Gouvernement de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale

In collaboration with

With the support of


will take part in Lunch with an Architect and will transfer to account no. BE62 3630 1352 3961,  with reference Stefano Boeri 03.05.2022  and the name of the participant’s company

108€ + VAT = 130.68€ *

* possible discount for architects younger than 30 : contact us

Cancellation: A cancellation will be taken into account if notified in writing at the latest three working days before the seminar. After that deadline, the registration fee shall remain payable.

Contact us

Lunch with an Architect is an initiative of Forum Press + Communication.
All conferences are held at Flagey. For more information:

Kathleen Iweins
Nathalie Zalcman

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