Belgian architecture is a testament to a harmonious coexistence of tradition and innovation. From its early roots in Romanesque and Gothic styles to the flourishing Renaissance and Baroque periods, Belgian architecture has showcased an intricate tapestry of diverse architectural movements. The architectural narrative of the country further unfolded with the rise of Art Nouveau, where the visionary designs of Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde left an indelible mark.
Belgium has positively embraced modernity in recent years and is now recognized as a hub for cutting-edge architectural experimentation and innovation. Cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent have contemporary jewels pushing beyond mere design boundaries. Unravelling the country's distinct architecture tells a fascinating narrative of vision and adaptability, coupled with an unwavering strive towards magnificent feats in providing construction solutions. The following list is a selection of 25 architecture firms that continue to shape Belgium’s architectural legacy.
Bovenbouw is a young architectural firm based in Antwerp, Belgium, led by Dirk Somers, an esteemed professor, manager, and head designer. With a team of 20 talented European architects, Bovenbouw approaches design with an open mind, breaking free from the need to constantly be avant-garde. Instead, they seek to reinvent a unique style for each project, combining old and new ideas in a harmonious blend of the timeless and the contemporary. Bovenbouw's exceptional work has been showcased in exhibitions across Venice, Munich, Mendrisio, Aachen, London, and their home city of Antwerp.
HUB is an architecture and urban design firm driven by a deep passion for their craft. They embarked on their journey in 2004, driven by a clear and noble mission: to bring about positive change in the society through their diverse range of projects. Firmly rooted in their belief, they understand the profound impact that thoughtfully designed spaces can have on uplifting people's lives, fostering a sustainable future, and creating opportunities for generations to follow. Their approach involves understanding the cultural and economic significance of each project and providing intelligent solutions that meet client needs while seamlessly integrating with the urban context. By adopting a critical and investigative approach, HUB gains a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and evolving spatial dynamics, collaborating with a network of partners to deliver integrated and holistic solutions.
B2Ai architects is a dynamic firm comprised of a dedicated team of 130 professionals, including architects, engineers, interior architects, and urban planners based in Brussels, Ghent, and Roeselare. With years of experience and a well-structured internal organization, the firm provides extensive support to its collaborators while fostering a creative environment. B2Ai architects boasts a diverse portfolio, showcasing their expertise in various sectors such as healthcare, education, sports facilities, public amenities, commercial spaces, residential projects, and mixed-use developments. Their wide-ranging experience in both the public and private sectors positions them as a reliable partner for Design & Build or PPP projects. A notable aspect of their work is their commitment to social issues and the integration of sustainability factors, ensuring that each project aligns with environmental and community-focused considerations.
At B-architecten, B-bis, B-city & B-juxta, their belief is that individuals have the power to make a positive impact on society. Through their passion for spatial design and development, they strive to create a better society with a focus on the city. Their work goes beyond constructing buildings; they are a collective of talented designers dedicated to influencing urban planning policies and enhancing the quality of life. The firm’s vision for a better living environment revolves around urban densification, enabling a harmonious blend of experience, sustainability, equality, human scale, and technology. They achieve this through the strength of their platform and strategic partnerships with complementary collaborators. Every project they undertake is unique, drawing inspiration from the knowledge and experience they've accumulated over the years, which they gladly share with new colleagues and other talented individuals. Their approach combines visionary thinking with pragmatism, honoring tradition while embracing the future.
POLO Architects was founded in 1991 by Mauro Poponcini and Patrick Lootens. The design-focused practice, with expertise in urbanism, architecture, and interior design, consists of a dedicated team of more than 100 highly skilled professionals working in Antwerp and Brussels-based studios, taking on assignments throughout Belgium and beyond. Their goal at POLO is to create a more sustainable society by shaping spaces that drive this transformation. They are not simply designers who respond to client briefs; they are also spatial strategists who delve into the underlying issues to be addressed. Each project presents an opportunity for them to bring about meaningful change, critically evaluate past practices, and continually question themselves. They are committed to making a genuine impact, rather than merely rearranging the status quo.
Jaspers-Eyers is a Belgian architectural firm with multiple offices across Belgium in Brussels, Leuven, and Hasselt. Their scope of work extends to various regions, including Luxembourg, Spain, Eastern Europe, and China. With a comprehensive range of services, they specialize in architectural design, programming, urban architecture, master planning, as well as graphic and interior design. The primary objective at Jaspers-Eyers is to create designs that enhance people's lives. They uphold a fundamental commitment to sustainability, integrating ecological considerations into all their projects. Additionally, their approach revolves around specific goals and principles that guide their design process.
Established in 1980, SAMYN and PARTNERS is a privately-owned firm specializing in architecture and building engineering. Guided by client aspirations and the unique character of each location, their design philosophy challenges conventions and explores diverse possibilities. Their exceptional work has earned global recognition and features in prestigious architecture and design publications. With meticulous attention to detail, they provide a comprehensive range of services, relying on a passionate team of 85 skilled architects and engineers. Embracing advanced computer-aided design technologies, they consistently deliver outstanding results that surpass expectations.
Conix Architects, founded in 1979 by Christine Conix, has expanded over the years with offices in Wilrijk, Antwerp, and Brussels. In 1996, AMP Architectenmaatschap was established by Jorden Goossenaerts and Frederik Jacobs, followed by the acquisitions of Rienks RDBM Architects and Arch-I in 2000 and 2006, respectively. The merger in 2013 led to the formation of CONIX RDBM Architects, an influential player in Belgian and Dutch architecture. The firm has gained recognition for its diverse portfolio, including residential, commercial, cultural, and educational projects. With a multidisciplinary team of 65 members across multiple locations, CONIX RDBM Architects aims to create innovative and sustainable designs that respond to client needs, societal context, and the spirit of the time. Their integrated approach covers research, design, construction, and maintenance stages, resulting in functional, flexible, and aesthetically pleasing architecture that adds value to users and society.
BINST ARCHITECTS, with 47 years of experience, is a multidisciplinary firm that combines expertise with a modern approach to architecture. As "architects of tomorrow," they prioritize innovative methods, optimized housing, and robust infrastructure. Their diverse portfolio covers projects of various scales and budgets, providing comprehensive guidance and supervision with their distinctive signature. BINST ARCHITECTS believes in the power of architecture to shape the future of urban living, work, and culture. Their goal is to create experiential spaces that reflect the interconnectedness of surroundings and engage with the community. They aim for "positive architecture," balancing restraint and expression, resulting in unique and iconic landmarks. BINST ARCHITECTS is committed to professionalism, ambition, and continuous improvement, and their team ensures a comprehensive and artistic approach to their projects.
XDGA is an architectural firm based in Brussels and Paris, specializing in architecture, urbanism, and landscape design. Founded in 1988 by Xaveer De Geyter, who previously worked with OMA/Rem Koolhaas, XDGA has established a notable portfolio and gained global acclaim. With a radical approach, diverse expertise, and an international team, XDGA has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Mies Van der Rohe Award and Bigmat Award, and has been featured in solo exhibitions. The firm's success is reflected in its five published monographs and its ongoing commitment to innovative design.
BOGDAN & VAN BROECK, now known as &bogdan, has undergone a transformation led by Oana Bogdan, following the retirement of co-founder Leo Van Broeck after over 40 years of practice. The new name reflects their commitment to openness and collaboration, with the "&" symbol representing their cooperative approach. Operating from Brussels, they prioritize caring architecture that emphasizes human interaction and public space, advocating for future-proof cities that regenerate resources. Beyond construction, they apply design thinking to address a wide range of challenges and continuously learn from their implementation. With an international team, they engage in co-creation with diverse disciplines, communities, politics, economy, and technology.
OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen is an architectural practice founded by Kersten Geers and David Van Severen in Brussels in 2002. Their approach to architecture revolves around improving the human environment through cultural undertakings. They address pressing issues like sustainability and responsible sourcing, considering architectural form as part of the solution. Their pragmatic and innovative projects draw inspiration from diverse architectural histories, providing a framework for complex life experiences. Their work is complemented by academic research and teaching, creating synergies between practice and theory. With a team of around 40 members from diverse backgrounds, OFFICE combines their unique voices to create meaningful architectural interventions.
Robbrecht en Daem architecten is an architectural firm founded in 1975 by Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem in Brussels. With a strong international presence, the firm has developed a diverse portfolio encompassing architecture, infrastructure, interiors, and landscapes. Their architectural vision emphasizes color, measurements, and materiality, creating distinctive and autonomous designs that engage in dialogue with the surrounding context. The practice focuses on the program, built environment, and integration of art, resulting in purposeful and homely architecture. Robbrecht en Daem is known for their collaborations with renowned artists and cultural commissions, providing a home for the arts. With a growing team of over 40 members, the firm handles large-scale commissions and complex urban projects, combining dynamism with discreet and timeless design.
JDS Archirects is a versatile architecture and design firm that specializes in a range of projects, including large-scale planning and furniture design. Their team comprises skilled designers and seasoned architects who work collaboratively across the entire project timeline, from initial sketches to on-site supervision. With a social and ambitious approach, they combine fresh perspectives with extensive research and analysis to drive their design solutions. Led by Julien De Smedt, the firm works with clients globally, delivering civic, residential, commercial, and waterfront development projects. They prioritize limited commissions to ensure high-quality attention and consider themselves proactive partners rather than consultants. With a diverse portfolio and a commitment to enhancing design intelligence through collaboration, JDS strives for innovative thinking and efficient production.
dmvA, which stands for "door middel van Architectuur" or "by means of Architecture," was founded by David Driesen and Tom Verschueren out of their shared passion for architecture. Their noble objective is to use architecture as a means to address social, economic, and collective issues. Their creative process revolves around experimentation, delving into form, materials, and sustainability. Each project begins with a question, context, and budget, resulting in expressive and meticulous architecture that achieves maximalism through minimalism. dmvA's dedication to refined details and materiality is evident, and their approach embraces a range of styles, rejecting the notion of a defined style and asserting that timeless architecture is non-existent. With a diverse portfolio spanning public buildings, large-scale residential projects, installations, and private houses, dmvA consistently seeks unique solutions that cater to client requirements and the needs of each location.
META is a movement in architecture that aims to convey its vision through the act of building. It embodies a renewed interest in the building process and a genuine passion for architecture itself. META strives to create architecture that transcends the ordinary, addressing practical issues without getting lost in theoretical musings. Embracing challenging clients with clear visions and high demands, META approaches each project with a thoughtful and unhurried mindset. Rather than following expensive and complicated trends, META focuses on crafting a cohesive narrative that merges data into a singular story. The architecture META builds is timeless, reflecting the open time we live in, where cultures and styles have become blurred. META stands as a reflection on architecture, combining theory and practice, design and criticism, and thinking and doing. It embodies a meta-modern approach, adapting to each commission in a distinctly modern manner.
Inspired by the artistic principles of Malevich, the firm, Govaert & Vanhoutte architects, strives to transcend the ordinary and achieve abstraction in their designs. Similar to suprematism, their goal is to dominate pure emotional experiences in art through their architectural schemes. Each project is approached by conducting a functional analysis of the program and surroundings, merging it with their artistic vision. This process enables them to create authentic concepts that are deeply connected to their content and location, resulting in designs that embody a sense of transcendence.
In 1989, Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen established Vincent Van Duysen Architects, which has since grown to include a team of over 30 professionals. Their diverse portfolio encompasses a broad range of projects, from product design to commercial developments and luxurious residences, spanning Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the USA. The firm's unique approach places great importance on the interconnectedness of architecture, interior design, and product design. They strive to create spaces that are enduring, functional, and tactile by achieving seamless transitions between these disciplines. Van Duysen's exceptional work has earned him numerous awards and accolades, with his designs showcased in esteemed international publications and monographs. Additionally, he has served as a creative director for renowned brands like Molteni&C and collaborated with Zara Home, influencing their global image through the design of flagship stores and products.
Abscis Architecten, established in 1988, is a dynamic and future-oriented firm comprising a diverse team of around 45 creative professionals. With a foundation of 30 years of experience across various sectors and scales, the firm brings a fresh perspective to its projects. The three partners, Arthur Van Cauwenberghe, Pieter De Smet, and Sofie Eggermont, lead the general management while actively overseeing projects, making strategic decisions, and assembling cohesive teams. Abscis Architecten has a rich tradition of participating in architecture competitions and also takes on direct assignments, including master plans and feasibility studies. Their client base includes governments, private clients, and real estate developers, engaging in architectural assignments as well as hybrid collaborations like public/private partnerships and design-build projects.
Declerck-Daels, Architecten is a renowned architectural firm based in Roeselare, with over twenty-five years of experience. They have established themselves as a trusted name in the region, known for their unique and thoughtfully integrated small and medium-sized projects that harmonize with the Flemish landscape. The firm conducts thorough feasibility studies for new projects, paying close attention to factors like site capacity, integration within master plans, and the potential for reuse and restoration. Their scope of work encompasses the design, coordination, and supervision of residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects, with a particular focus on exploring possibilities for repurposing, reconversion, and restoration. Additionally, they meticulously develop designs for new multi-family homes, offices, commercial properties, catering establishments, and assisted living flats.
Atelier Vens Vanbelle is a renowned architectural firm known for its innovative and sustainable design practices. With a focus on blending aesthetics with environmental considerations, the firm creates functional spaces that minimize their impact on the planet. Their collaborative approach involves close cooperation with clients and stakeholders to achieve exceptional results. Atelier Vens Vanbelle embraces creativity and explores new materials and technologies to push the boundaries of conventional design. Meticulous attention to detail and a diverse portfolio spanning residential, commercial, and institutional projects showcase their commitment to excellence. The firm has received recognition and awards for its design prowess and sustainable contributions to the built environment.
GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten, founded in Ghent, Belgium, in 2005 by Koen Baeyens and Basile Graux, is a design practice specializing in contemporary architecture, interior design, and product design. With 17 years of experience, the firm has developed a unique architectural vision. Their portfolio encompasses a diverse range of projects in Belgium, including single-family homes, offices, and design furniture. GBA's approach is centered around generating clear concepts through continuous questioning and production. They adopt a holistic approach, considering the urban scale, interior design, and details of each project. By distilling the right questions and providing a clear vision, GBA creates designs that emphasize synergy and relationships with the environment while prioritizing light, spaciousness, and functionality.
Architecten de vylder vinck taillieu is a renowned architectural firm based in Ghent, Belgium, known for its experimental and innovative approach. Founded in 2008, their philosophy centers around embracing existing contexts and materials, and finding beauty in the ordinary. They prioritize simplicity, functionality, and thought-provoking design, often incorporating found objects and materials into their projects. Their portfolio spans residential, cultural, and public spaces, showcasing their ability to transform spaces while preserving their essence. The firm has received prestigious awards, exhibited internationally, and actively contributes to academic and research endeavours. Architecten de vylder vinck taillieu continues to redefine architectural norms and make a lasting impact on the field.
OYO is an architectural collaborative based in Ghent and Barcelona, founded in 2011. With a multidisciplinary team of designers, architects, and urban planners, they believe in an open framework for ideas and strive to balance beauty and pragmatism in their creations. Over the past decade, they have designed award-winning projects of various scales and purposes, showcasing their commitment to original thinking, collaboration, and sustainable design. Their clients are ambitious, seeking something beyond the expected. They challenge conventions and explore new possibilities, aiming to create spaces where people can thrive. OYO's approach is holistic, considering social, environmental, and economic sustainability. They believe in designing spaces that enable individuals to be their best.
i.s.m.architecten, a Belgian architecture and interior architecture office, places a strong emphasis on spatial design and the design process. Founded in 2010 by Koen Pauwels and Wim Van der Vurst, the firm has accumulated expertise through a diverse range of projects, spanning furniture, opera scenography, and interior and exterior architecture. Each project begins with an open perspective, allowing for the evolution of their design language and the creation of new forms. i.s.m.architecten values a solid collaborative relationship with clients, enabling them to push the boundaries of their practice and achieve innovative solutions. They believe in the inseparability of architecture and interior space, drawing from their extensive experience collaborating with renowned interior office Bataille & ibens.
The selection curated by the Archello editorial team is based on a combination of the amount of featured projects and the views they generated.