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Lecture: Xaveer de Geyter, Xaveer De Geyter Architects

Xaveer De Geyter is director and founder of Xaveer de Geyer Architecten (XDGA) — one of the most challenging office of architects and urban planners in Belgium. In the eighties and nineties, De Geyter was project architect for OMA/Rem Koolhaas. In 1983, he was part of the Team Hoogpoort with Stéphane Beel, Willem Jan Neutelings, and Arjan Karssenberg. They developed a revolutionary proposal for the Carrefour de l’Europe in Brussels — hereby marking a counterpoint in the post-war history of Belgian and European architecture.

In 1988 De Geyter started his own practice that often illuminates the hidden paradoxes and conflicts of the (sub)urban life. His work is based on a conscious belief in the formal power of architecture to shape and organize the many flows, and often incongruous activities, that constitute contemporary society. Rather than fixing programmatic content, it creates a clear-cut environment in which different scenarios, stories, and outcomes remain possible. Without fear or inhibition, architecture is presented as the modern and energetic mediator that does not fold back on the safety of the past or the consensus of the present, but that embraces the uncertainties of a both lucid and positive future.

In the nineties, De Geyter built his first houses in Mariakerke, Brasschaat and Sint-Niklaas. Subsequently, the office participated in a number of international architectural and urban competitions. Around the turn of the century, five towers with 137 apartments were built in Breda (NL). XDGA drew up the urban plan for the Ilot St-Maurice in Lille (F) and the Pont du Gard in Nimes (F) (in collaboration with Maarten Van Severen). During the past decade, larger architectural commissions in Belgium followed such as; the Europe College in Bruges, the extension of the School of Saint-Luc in Ghent, the COOVI-tower and the Place du Rogier (both in Brussels), a police headquarters in Kortrijk, and two buildings for Ghent University (in collaboration with Stéphane Beel Architects). Recently the office has won two prestigious competitions for the design of the Schuman Square in Brussels and the construction of the new House of Province in Antwerp. During recent years, XDGA has been working more and more abroad by means of participation in many competitions and by large-scale realizations such as the Entrepot Macdonald in Paris — a housing complex of 410 apartments in Bordeaux and a master plan for the urban area of Paris-Saclay.

Xaveer de Geyter

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