Architect Christian Kieckens is no longer with us. To him, architecture was not so much a discipline as an all-encompassing way of understanding the world and giving it form and meaning. Humanism and Renaissance were never far away. He felt at home at BOZAR in the synergy of music, dance, theatre, literature, visual art and architecture. Not just as a visitor but also as a creator.
"Architecture relates to a building as music relates to sound."
His recent exhibition The house. The mentor. The archive. Christian Kieckens (2016) at the Flanders Architecture Institute in deSingel made clear how Christian was jointly responsible for the architectural culture for which this small country has been known for many years. He occupied a special place among his 'fellow travellers', Marc Dubois, Marie-José Van Hee, Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem. The title of his 2001 monograph, based on a Martin Heidegger analogy, sums it up: Zoeken - Denken - Bouwen (“Search - Think - Build”).
At BOZAR, he was responsible for the Jean Arp - The invention of the form architecture exhibition in 2004. In recent years, Christian was primarily active as a mentor. He was interim editor-in-chief of the magazine A+ Architecture in Belgium in 2014 and 2015. Later, he assisted the young designers at Schenk Hattori Architecture Atelier in developing our exhibitions A Feverish Era in Japanese Art - Expressionism in the 1950s and 1960s and Bernard van Orley. Brussels and the Renaissance.
We are grateful to Christian for the attention and time he gave us, and we are exceptionally sad at his sudden passing.