Belgium Architecture and Archaeology

Architecture. – The Belgium is not particularly distinguished by its contemporary architecture. Contrary to what happened in the field of painting and sculpture, architecture has lost all national and regional character and does not present any stylistic homogeneity. The best examples of early twentieth century architecture, such as the Casa del Popolo by V. Horta, have been demolished, and that magnificent example which was the introduction of iron and glass structures, has no longer been followed. Realizations worthy of interest are found scattered and are rarely of great importance.

Between the two wars, garden cities spread. H. Hoste built those of Selzaete and Kapelleveld, L. van der Swaelman that of the Trois Tilleuls, V. Bourgeois the modern city of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe. Of monumental works we can only mention the basilica of Koekelberg by A. van Huffel, which proved to be a major failure, so much so that it remained unfinished. Despite this, H. van de Velde, director of the Cambre School of Architecture, leader of architectural functionalism and urban rationalism, gave new impetus to studies and design, an impulse that was expressed above all in the field of social housing and housing. private. The works of R. Braem, the villas of J. Dupuis, A. Jacqmain (Urvater house in Rhode-Saint-Genèse), Vandenhove and P. Callebaut should be mentioned. Housing groups were built in Kiel in Antwerp, in the Droixhe plain in Liège, in the model district of Heysel in Brussels, in the Trixhe plateau near Flémalle Haute. The post-war period was dominated by the strong personalities of L. Stynen (Casino of Chaudfontaine and Ostend, conservatory of music in Antwerp) and R. Bastin (numerous churches and chapels in the Walloon land, museum of Mariemont). This period, however, was characterized by the proliferation of office buildings built according to the architectural schemes of the conservatory of music in Antwerp) and of R. Bastin (numerous churches and chapels in the Walloon land, museum of Mariemont). This period, however, was characterized by the proliferation of office buildings built according to the architectural schemes of the conservatory of music in Antwerp) and of R. Bastin (numerous churches and chapels in the Walloon land, museum of Mariemont). This period, however, was characterized by the proliferation of office buildings built according to the architectural schemes of thecurtain walls American style, introduced by H. Van Kuyk, a proliferation that has disfigured Brussels by dotting it with isolated skyscrapers, unrelated to the surrounding urban fabric. Some buildings escape such poverty of imagination and present original solutions. Worth mentioning: in Brussels, Glaverbel (architect A. Jacqmain), the Lambert Bank (of the American architect G. Bunshaft), the Royale Belge (of P. Dufau and R. Stapels), the Crédit Communal building; in Antwerp the BP building (by L. Stijnen). In 1958, the Universal Exposition in Brussels provided the opportunity for a number of interesting experiences, such as the spire of the civil engineering pavilion and that authentic sign that is the Atomium. But little followed. The major urbanization works of the Mont des Arts, the construction of the Administrative City and that of the European Community headquarters in Brussels cannot be considered valid results. Conversely, a formal innovation effort was attempted in the newuniversity campus of Sart-Tilman near Liège and, currently, the construction of Louvain-la-Neuve, where the university, divided into two groups of faculties, is integrating itself with the center of a new city, bodes well. There are also some factories, workshops, mines and quarries that have required interesting construction solutions. The IBM technical center in Diegem, the automation equipment factory in Wondelgem, the Volkswagen center in Erps Kwerps, the Socobie power plant in Rivage-en-Pot, the nuclear research center in Mol should be mentioned. Engineer A. Hardy’s Grimbergen hangar was chosen for the Twentieth Century Engineering exhibition in New York. The tank of the Malines aqueduct, by engineer F. Mortelmans, belongs to the field of sculpture-architecture. For Belgium 2010, please check

In conclusion, a lot of decent construction, which reflects the prosperity of the country, little high-level architecture, little authentic creativity.

Archaeology. – In Belgium, in the last decade, the study of the Neolithic settlements of Boitsfort, Chaumont-Gistoux, Spiennes, Avennes, etc. has been intensively resumed through systematic excavations. The new campaigns have made it possible to identify (for example in Spiennes) the almost constant presence of a double circular wall and therefore of a village-fortress, defended by two embankments. In Avennes, during a systematic exploration of the site, an important funerary complex from the Neolithic age was discovered. Archaeological exploration using aerial photography has provided the identification of urn fields in the Campine region (B. north-eastern), of fortified walls of the pre-Roman age (eg Sommerain, Tenneville, Buzenol, Ethe, etc.).) and the works of the limesBelgian. Since 1955 the systematic study of the road network and of the Roman settlements has been undertaken. The Roman colonization in the country was carried out systematically with the creation of a road infrastructure, the foundation of cities and the colonization of the countryside. The road network, now perfectly identified, was mainly intended to unite East to West, the Rhine to the North Sea, with the creation of urban centers such as Tongres, Tournai, Arlon, Namur, at the most important crossings. New excavations have been undertaken there, clarifying its economic and commercial importance. Alongside the cities and neighborhoods, the existence of a large number of less important agglomerations, often built in the vicinity of a statio, and soon became the economic and sometimes religious center of a region (Liberchies, Braives, Amay, Vervoz, Blicquy, Tirlemont, etc.). These centers could have, as has been shown by recent studies, their own ceramic workshops and bronze foundries (in particular in Blicquy, located and excavated in 1968), furnaces for iron working. This has led to the existence of a very developed and highly specialized craftsmanship and has contributed considerably to the spread of Roman civilization and technique in the countryside, where agriculture was already widely developed in the pre-Roman age. The excavations revealed that the most fertile regions of the country (Hesbaye, Condrox, southern Flanders, etc.) had been given a very modern agrarian physiognomy, through the centuriatio and the division of the territory into parcels of 700 × 700 m, scattered by multiple farms. Currently few villas have been systematically excavated (villas of Basse-Wavre, Anthée, Mettet, and finally that of Haccourt, in which frescoes and mosaics of considerable importance have been found). The finds of funerary furnishings both from simple cremation graves and from the rich Gallo-Roman mounds of the central Belgium (Tirlemont, Berlingen, etc.) where tools worked in silver, gold jewelery, earth sealed with varnish were found.

Belgium Archaeology

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