Pioneering morphologies |
The tools of the architect-researcher / the column

2019 – 2020
Tanguy Boutchon / Kenny Van der Sype
Bram De Gieter / Aäron De Leeuw
Ajiri Okopobresi / Zohra Gillaer
Mara T’joen / Maria Van Buul
Silke Claeys / Astrid Christiaens
Laura Renard / Astrid Abbeel
Laura Renard / Astrid Abbeel
Olivier Meuris / Dries Souvereyns
Brecht Cornelli / Josephine Lannoije / Michiel Craeye
Toon Claerhout / Emma Cottyn
Maurits Verstraete / Mattias Bruyneel
Maurits Verstraete / Mattias Bruyneel
Rachel Peynsaert / Maxine Chantrie

This particular research takes a cross section of architectural developments of the past 150 years. The starting point is the transformation of the iron column: from cast iron, to wrought iron to steel. 15 Canonical projects have been dissected and thematized, understanding the column as both generator as well as the expression of specific architectural concerns and ideologies. Special attention is paid to the role and the affordance of the material and the way architects worked within its constrains and possibilities. The 15 projects trace narratives of industrial progress, of stylistic disputes, of orientation towards the future and historical grounding. Together they form an alternative architectural history, where materials are bigger determinants than generally thought.

The project is part of the research project ‘pioneering practices’, concerning the tools and methods of the architect-researcher. Through the study of canonical buildings, a set of specific analytical methods is defined and tested. The methods are directed towards an architectural understanding of the building and use tools that originate in the architects’ practice where they serve their architectural thinking and making. There are the precise object observations and descriptions, resulting from building visits and collection of drawings and sketches from the archive. The projects are dissected and synthesized through analytical drawings that highlight architectural qualities such as morphology, rhythms, structure, material and detail. A specific analytical tool is the drawing series that describes the genealogy of the building, offering insights into the development of the design process and the motivations of the designer. Another tool is the making of models or fragment models that add an understanding of construction and making, and of the morphological intentions and qualities. The projects can be linked in series with the tool ofw Seriation, that reveals developments over time, and between architects and projects.



Caroline Voet
Eireen Schreurs



Astrid Abbeel
Tanguy Boutchon
Mattias Bruyneel
Maxine Chantrie
Astrid Christiaens
Toon Claerhout
Silke Claeys
Brecht Cornelli
Michiel Craeye
Bram De Gieter
Aäron De Leeuw
Emma Cottyn
Zohra Gillaer
Arne Ilsbroekx
Jan Ilsbroekx
Josephine Lannoije
Stijn Meelberghs
Olivier Meuris
Ajiri Okopobresi
Laura Pauwels
Rachel Peynsaert
Laura Renard
Marthe Sambaer
Dries Souvereyns
Mara T’joen
Aaron Van Acker
Maria Van Buul
Kenny Van der Sype
Céline Vanassche
Siska Verhas
Maurits Verstraete
Géraldine Vlaeminck