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Robbrecht en Daem

Five architects about their furniture


M.J. Van Hee, Robbrecht & Daem Architecten, C. Kieckens and M. Dubois give their views on interior and furniture design in ‘A piece of furniture is a house’. On display until 23 October 2016. Watch the full interviews with the five architects below.

Christian Kieckens

For the exhibition ‘A Piece of Furniture Is Also a House’, Christian Kieckens opted for the theme of Milan. The city of design and some of his mentors whom he got to know through furniture and interior designer Pieter De Bruyne. It’s a vibrant centre where designers such as Gio Ponti, Aldo Rossi and Andrea Branzi work(ed).

Kieckens’ own table design Onofre and Face 2 Face are also on display in the expo along, in addition to an overview of more than 60 of his scenographies for design, art and architecture exhibitions. From the museum collection, he chose a chair by Gio Ponti, glass sculptures by Ettore Sottsass, light fittings by Gino Sarfatti and a tea and coffee set by Aldo Rossi for Alessi.

Robbrecht & Daem Architecten

The career of Robbrecht en Daem architecten is characterised by an intense collaboration for and with artists. Not only did they design workshops and exhibition spaces for them, but also furniture, such as the set of benches for musing on the paintings of Raoul De Keyser. There is also the Ta Tisch and the Joburg Stool, recently put into production. It is the preliminary final phase of a design for an exhibition table and chair, designed for various exhibitions. The robustness and selected range of colours, characteristics of their architecture, are reminiscent of a closet in the Geerardyn house by Huib Hoste, a collection piece of the museum.

M.J. Van Hee

As the architect of numerous private residences, M. José Van Hee has developed a distinct view on the theme of dwelling. In the design of spaces, furniture forms an integral part of the various rooms and circulation areas. Walls, stairs and corridors are secretly wardrobes, cloakrooms or libraries. They are designed down to the smallest detail; everything is fully drawn and tailored like a piece of furniture. For her, the only furniture that belongs in the house are a table, chair and bed. In ‘A Piece of Furniture Is Also a House’, she presents two houses clearly demonstrating this view. 

Her own design of the huis-werk-tafel (home-work-­table) and the bed-bank with textiles by designers Marie Mees and Cathérine Biasino are also on display, right next to Huib Hoste’s chairs. She also chose Scandinavian functional designs that are associated with dining – dishes, tea and coffee sets, silver cutlery. They follow a pronounced logic and are solidly-built with the materiality and the handling as the basis for the form.

Marc Dubois

Marc Dubois receives a separate statute in the exhibition ‘A Piece of Furniture Is Also a House'. His was pioneer for an architecture and design culture in Belgium. As an architectural historian, he helped founding the collection of Design Museum Gent with his research and exhibitions of Albert Van huffel and Gaston Eysselinck. As a critic and curator, he and Lieven Daenens and Christian Kieckens founded the Stichting Architektuur Museum. Dubois made connections between design, architecture and heritage. As an architect, he committed himself to the importance of good design at any scale and accessible to everyone. His personal and intimate friendship with designers and architects is demonstrated by the Cabinet Álvaro Siza Vieira, which he discloses in the exhibition.