A historical outline of 100 years of architecture in Belgium, with a focus on some of the major moments in the history of building. They are situated within their social context, and as a result this document is as much about ‘living in’ as it is about ‘building’. Part of the BRT (Belgian radio and television broadcast network) television series ’Toren van Babel’ (The Tower of Babel).
Original broadcast date: 21/03/1976
00’00" Title : 1. Stairs, cupolas, corridors, a glimpse at 100 years of architecture in Belgium : from the Law Courts in Brussels to the construction of modern homes. Views of the Law courts. 03’45" Archive photographs of factories, workers’ houses and bourgeois homes. 04’15" : Title : 2. Hemmed in. Archive photographs of convent porches. 04’45" Pictures of Warande and of Jubelpark, Brussels. 07’15" Views of facades in Cogels-Osylei, Antwerp. 08’30" Archive photographs of Val Ducess Castle, Brugman Hotel, Vanderkindere Villa. Views of Fontainas estate, the municipal park and central station in Antwerp. Title 3. A new alphabet. Archive photographs and pictures of Ukkel flower wharf (Henry van de Velde). 13’00" Pictures of the Solvay residence in Horta. Exterior views of Marconi district. 16’15" Title : 4. Houses fit for living in. Somewhere to live for the working-class. Views of Solbosch Park, Warnetonais Home, the Torhout residence, districts in Gent, Burcht, Antwerp, Rumst, Lanaken and Verviers. Pictures of Vanderswaelmen garden cities and a modern estate Water-maal-Bosvoorde. 20’15" Poster and archive photographs showing the village of Zelzate for unmarried workers (Hoste Huib). 20’45" Title : 5. Faded Utopia. Archive photographs and views of the Langelet project and of the architect de Coninck. 24’10" Views of the Palais des Beaux-Arts and the Shell Building, Brussels, and of Koekelberg and the Stijnen Building. 26’30" Title : 6. Living undeclinably. Plans and archive photographs of blocks of houses (Braem, Schillemans), the left bank in Antwerp, buildings going up in the centre of Antwerp. Views of an air balloon and of Antwerp’s Kiel. 30’00" Title : 7. Poison in the city. Illustrations from L’architecture comme prise du capital sur la ville (Architecture as capital’s way of taking over a city) (the WTC building, the Place de la Monnaie, the Philips Building, old facades, the Martini Building, Noordwijk, Ter Kameren, the ITT Tower). Posters by action groups protesting against the way the city is being broken up. 33’50" Title : 8 Landscape by numbers Views of motorways, buildings, canals, the harbour, industrial estates, and supermarkets round about Gent. 35’00" View of the prefab district of Limal. Advertisements for the building industry. 36’00" Title : 9. They’ve lost their heads. Views of VUB campus, Louvain-la-Neuve campus, Sart-Tilman multisports complex, Liege university and the Strebel Building. 40’20" Title : 10. The cards are on the table. Mechelen, views of small gardens in courtyards and facades of old houses. 44’00" Interior views, stairwell, bedrooms, veranda... Interior and exterior views of Bob van Reeth’s house in Mechelen and of Jacques Sequaris’s house in Soumagne (Liege). 50’00" Paintings on façades at Marolles. Views of a pedestrian shopping precinct, ramshackle buildings and building sites. General view of buildings in Brussels. 53’00" Credits. 54’00"
(Source: Jef Cornelis 1964 - 1990, Espace Art Contemporain : Maison de la culture et de la Communication de Saint-Etienne, 1991)