News and activities

2 Octobre - 18 December : Documentary series on architects’ houses on BRUZZ
A collaboration between Linsy Raaffels of the æ-lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and BRUZZ resulted in a documentary series of ten architects’ houses in the Brussels Capital Region, entitled ‘Het huis van de architect’. The series sheds light on both renowned and lesser known architects’ houses and each episode offers a unique view on one house and the experience of its current owner. The first episode will reveal the house of Gustave Strauven (1902, Brussels) and will air on both the TV channel and website of BRUZZ on the 2nd of October. Watch the trailer here.
The series includes a broad range of houses with construction dates between 1900 and 1986, ranging in style from Art Nouveau to Modernism and even organic architecture. Some of the houses were already beautifully restored over the past few decades by their new owners, whether being it an art historian or just someone with a heart for architecture. Other houses are on the verge of restoration today and are therefore recorded in the series prior to any intervention, showing the degraded state, yet highlighting the marvellous disguised features. Yet, other houses are still inhabited by the architect himself or his/her children and thus remain virtually untouched until this day.
Discover all ten houses on the TV channel of BRUZZ after the news of 6 PM or on their online playlist according to the following broadcast schedule:
02 October Gustave Strauven (1902, Brussels)
09 October Luc Schuiten (1986, Schaarbeek)
16 October Fernand Lefever (1913, Koekelberg)
23 October Henri Draps (1931, Laken)
06 November Willy Van der Meeren (1955, Tervuren)
20 November Pierre Humblet (1960, Ukkel)
27 November Simone Guillissen-Hoa (1965, Ukkel)
04 December Victor Taelemans (1901, Brussels)
11 December Fritz Seeldrayers (1900, Sint-Gillis)
18 December Lucien Kroll (1962, Oudergem)

30-31 October 2019: Vacancy Universiteit Antwerpen
Dear colleagues
In the framework of a BOF-research project in the domain of architectural and construction history, we are searching for an enthusiastic PhD student who is well familiar with historic research and contemporary architectural debates.
Morve info on the vacancy via:
Kind regards and a nice autumn
Inge Bertels and Lara Schrijver
30-31 October 2019: International conference "Architecture and Bureaucracy: Entangled Sites of Knowledge Production and Exchange"
   Download the brochure (pdf)
09.07-13.07.2018: Sixth International Congress on Construction History
From 9-13 July 2018 the Sixth International Congress on Construction History will be organised in Brussels, following previous editions in Chicago (2015), Paris (2012), Cottbus (2009), Cambridge (2006) and Madrid (2003). Over 170 international scholars will present the latest research in the field of construction history. This 5 days congress aims at favoring the share of knowledge at an international level and critically discussing future trends in research on construction history. On Wednesday July 11, guided tours to interesting buildings, structures, building sites, archives, etc. throughout Belgium are organised, discover them at
6ICCH is THE event of 2018 for architects, building conservators, historians, engineers, contractors and other professionals involved or interested in the field of construction history. Don't miss out on it and register now at
Organising committee:
Bertels Inge (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, UAntwerpen)
de Bouw Michael (UAntwerpen)
De Jonge Krista (KU Leuven)
Devos Rika (Université libre de Bruxelles)
EspionBernard (Université libre de Bruxelles)
Radelet-de Grave Patricia (Université catholique de Louvain)
Van de Voorde Stephanie (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Wouters Ine (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Zastavni Denis (Université catholique de Louvain)
20.02.2018: la cave, mémoire de la maison. De kelder, het geheugen van het huis
   Download the brochure (pdf)
24.11.2017: Bill Addis, The development of engineering design methods from 1750 to 1900
ULB Solbosch campus, building C, room C3.122, 10:30 am
   Download the poster (pdf)
09.06.2017: KICK-OFF ‘Building Brussels’
The interdisciplinary research team ‘Building Brussels’ kindly invites you for its official kick-off meeting on friday June 9th 2017.
Building Brussels is a VUB-funded research project that investigates the role of SMEs in Brussels’ urban fabric, with a particular interest in the construction sector. In order to fundamentally grasp its specificity, the research will intertwine multiple disciplines: construction history, urban planning, architectural engineering and business history.
Seen its societal relevance, we warmly invite you as a stakeholder to participate in the event and the debate.
   Download the poster (pdf)
15.05.2017: Séminaire Histoire de la construction
Les sources du chantier
Séminaire organisé par le Laboratoire de médiévistique occidentale de Paris(LAMOP) UMR 8589, CNRS - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, le Centre de théorie et analyse du droit (CTAD) UMR 7074, CNRS - Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense etlLe Laboratoire Archéologie et Philologie d’Orient et d’Occident (UMR 8546, ENS-CNRS-EPHE), avec le soutien du laboratoire d’excellence TransferS.
Lundi 15 mai 2017, 10h à 17h30
Lieu :
Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
PSL, salle de séminaire
60, rue Mazarine, 75006 PARIS
métro : Saint-Germain des Prés,
Mabillon ou Odéon
   Télécharger le programme (pdf)
09.07.2018-13.07.2018: 6th International Congress on Construction History
The 6th International Congress on Construction History (6 ICCH) will be organised in Brussels, from July 9 to 13, 2018. The congress follows on successful congresses held in Madrid (2003), Cambridge UK (2006), Cottbus (2009), Paris (2012) and Chicago (2015).
The call for abstracts is open! We invite researchers and practitioners from all aspects of the history of construction to submit a 400-word abstract before June 15, 2017. More information on the open and thematic sessions and the submission procedure can be found on
If your abstract is selected for a paper presentation at the congress, you will be notified by September 15, 2017. The deadline to submit full papers is December 1, 2017. Papers presented at the congress will be published in proceedings available at the congress. All papers and presentations must be in English.
If you have questions related to this procedure or if you experience any problems in submitting your abstract, please contact the congress secretariat at
6th International Congress on Construction History
Dear colleagues,
The 6th International Congress on Construction History ( will be organized in Brussels, from July 9 to July 13, 2018. For the first time, we will organise thematic sessions as well as the usual open ones. Today we launch the call for sessions (see attachment) and we are looking forward to receive your proposals by April 1, 2017.
Important deadlines:
Submit sessions: April 1, 2017
Call for abstracts: May 1, 2017
Submit abstracts: June 15, 2017
Submit papers: December 1, 2017
Conference: July 9-13, 2018
Please circulate this call among your colleagues and broader network.
Best wishes from the organising committee,
Inge Bertels
Organising committee
KU Leuven (Krista De Jonge)
Universiteit Antwerpen (Michael de Bouw)
Université Catholique de Louvain (Patricia Radelet-de Grave, Denis Zastavni)
Université Libre de Bruxelles (Rika Devos, Bernard Espion)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Inge Bertels, Stephanie Van de Voorde, Ine Wouters)
Lecture by Manuela Martini : For a small scale history of construction industry. A discussion about: Manuela Martini, Bâtiment en famille. Migrations et petite entreprise en banlieue parisienne au XXe siècle (CNRS éditions).
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, E.0.04
   Download the poster (pdf)
CHARRUADAS P., FRAITURE P., GAUTIER P., PIAVAUX M., et SOSNOWSKA P., 2016, Between carpentry and joinery: Wood finishing work in European medieval and modern architecture (Scientia Artis, 12), Peeters : Herent, 271 p.
From the examination of the historiography of finishing work in wood for architecture from the medieval to modern period, it is clear that this field of research is the poor relation of historical and archaeological studies, with the lion’s share focusing on the structural work of carpentry. It is on the basis of this observation that the present work has been produced, which results from a conference held in Brussels in 2013. The work demonstrates first the real interest in an approach to finishing work for the study of ancient buildings and the establishment of a precise chronology for their phases of layout as well as in obtaining better understanding of material cultures and ways of living. Second, it reiterates that the limit between carpentry and joinery was often porous, sometimes artificial. Finally, the work stresses that an overall approach to the use of wood is crucial to comprehensively address the organisation of a building, the logic of its construction and its ‘utilisation’, and more generally, the complex history of the buildings studied. This work, which thus represents a first step toward an overall approach of ‘wood material’ in European architecture, includes thirteen contributions divided into two thematic sections in keeping with current research practices. The first addresses the divide between structural and finishing work via the question of flooring, ceiling and roofing techniques. The second focuses intrinsically on finishing work by examining the contribution of this craft domain to the organisation, comfort and ornamentation of houses.
The Scientia Artis series is published by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels). The works in this series – monographs, exhibition catalogues and conference proceedings – present the results of research projects and scientific events (co)organized by KIK-IRPA. Since 1948 this Federal Scientific Institution has been charged with the study, protection and promotion of Belgium’s cultural heritage.
Brussels Archaeological Survey – BAS : archaeological, architectural and historical research of cellars in Brussels - 13th-19th century
The Research Centre in Archaeology and Heritage of the free University of Brussels has set up an archaeological inventory project focussing on the study of cellars in the Brussels region. Started in in January 2017, this innovative project in urban archaeology will analyse in detail the remaining underground heritage of the city on a large scale. The project will be executed in partnership with the services of the monuments and sites directorate and the city of Brussels and the funding of the Brussels-Capital Region.
Linsy Raaffels receives Doctiris grant
Linsy Raaffels, Master of Science in Architectural Engineering (ULB-VUB Bruface, 2016), is granted an INNOVIRIS-Doctiris. With these grants Innoviris aspires to stimulate collaboration between the academic and industrial/professional world in the Brussels Capital Region. The research “Architects’ houses in Brussels. Strategies for valorization” will focus on 19th and 20th-century architects’ houses in Brussels and examine how these architects’ houses evolved over time and how to valorize them in a qualitative way for the future. Linsy Raaffels will define the characteristics and qualities of architects’ houses in the Brussels Capital Region and elaborate strategies for qualitative restoration and renovation projects under the supervision of prof. dr. Inge Bertels and prof. dr. Stephanie Van de Voorde (VUB, department of Architectural Engineering), and in collaboration with Barbara Van der Wee Architects. Moreover, she will valorize this part of the Brussels patrimony through various media to the broader public by means of for instance best practices, new restoration techniques and recommendations for experts, such as architects, as well as for owners and other stakeholders.

Vacancy Phd-position 100%. ADEB-VBA chair (2016-8)
The ADEB-VBA chair calls for a full-time PhD-researcher to participate in the project "Collaboration and exchange between architects, engineers, contractors and industries in building in Belgium (1870-2015): lessons from the past and emerging collaborative approaches." <
   More info

Vacancy Phd-position 100%. Interdisciplinary Research Project Building Brussels.
The Interdisciplinary Research team Building Brussels seeks for a full-time PhD-researcher. He/she will study the historical evolution and viability of small and medium enterprises in the Brussels building sector. Please find enclosed the vacancy text.
   More info

During the Night of Knowledge about Brussels, Linsy Raaffels was awarded the Brussels Studies Institute Award 2016 for her master thesis: Architects’ houses (and ateliers) in Brussels: from the late 18th until the 20th century (promotors: Inge Bertels, Stephanie Van de Voorde and Jonas Lindekens). This prize awards the most outstanding master thesis directly relating to or leading to better understanding of Brussels. You can consult the results of her research on:
Subsequent to her master thesis, Linsy will continue her research on architects’ houses from January onwards through a PhD under the supervision of Prof. dr. Inge Bertels en Prof. dr. Stephanie Van de Voorde. The project: Architects’ houses in Brussels: Strategies for valorization, will be a collaboration between VUB ARCH and Barbara Van Der Wee Architecten.

Dans la cadre du colloque Beton vor dem Stahlbeton qui se tiendra à l’École Polytechnique fédérale de Zürich, Bernard Espion donnera une conférence intitulée : Le système d’armature Hennebique. Développement et applications en Belgique. Considérations sur son efficacité.
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Dans la cadre de la première journée d’étude GSA à l’INSA de Paris-Malaquais, Bernard Espion donnera une conférence intitulée : Le système d’armature Hennebique. Développement et applications en Belgique. Considérations sur son efficacité.
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Quatrième journée sur l’usage du fer dans la construction organisée par le Fabi : Les structures mixtes : « Fer et … » au XIXe et au début du XXe siècle.
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21.11.2016, 16h00-18h00
Dans le cadre du séminaire international du CReA-Patrimoine "Les atteintes à l’encontre du patrimoine au travers de l’histoire : perspective(s) archéologique(s) et enjeux actuels", Philippe Sosnowska (CReA-Patrimoine, Université libre de Bruxelles) donnera une conférence intitulée "Combusta integrior exsurgo… Bruxelles et son bombardement en 1695. Du désastre à sa reconstruction. Apport de l’archéologie à l’étude d’un événement majeur de l’histoire bruxelloise".
Université libre de Bruxelles, local AY2.112
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21.11.2016, 18h30-20h00
Lecture by Bill Addis: The nature of progress in designing engineering structures
Université libre de Bruxelles
   Download the program (pdf)
   CV Bill Addis (pdf)

October 2016 - March 2017
Exposition on prestressed concrete
The UCO-factory in Ghent (1947) is one of the earliest remarkable buildings constructed with prestressed concrete. Anticipating the refurbishment of the building, the history of the factory and the construction technique is documented in a small exposition in Ghent, at the office of the urban development company 'sogent' (October 2016 - March 2017). Stephanie Van de Voorde and Luc Taerwe (UGent) were responsible for the scientific support of the exposition. The exposition includes some models, a part of an original prestressed beam, a video installation and 4 posters telling the history of the building: visitors can take along these posters, to create numerous 'daughter exhibitions' elsewhere! More info on

27.10.2016, 14h00-15h00
Dear colleagues and students, On Thursday 27th of October our current Brussels Centre for Urban Studies (BCUS) visiting research fellow prof. dr. Sara Wermiel will lecture and discuss with our master students on the ‘Historic Preservation Movement in the U.S.: from ownership to regulation’. Colleagues and students interested in the topic are welcome to participate.
Her lecture will cover the early history of the preservation movement in the United States, including how changes in understanding of property rights and what constitutes heritage, and the impact of extensive urban renewal and highway programs after World War II, have shaped the preservation framework of today. There are parallels between U.S. history and that of countries in Western Europe.
Sara Wermiel is an independent scholar who lives in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She completed her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fields of Urban Studies & Planning and History of Technology. As a BCUS visiting research fellow, Sara will study the regulations, incentives, and citizen initiatives aimed at preserving historic properties and districts in the Brussels region, and compare these with practices in the Boston (Massachusetts) region.
For more info on her visiting research fellowship see:
Practical info: Thursday 27th of October, 14h00-15h00
Building K, room K.2 (2nd floor) Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Campus Etterbeek, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels
Participation is free, after registration:
Best wishes, Inge Bertels
23.10.2016, 11h00-13h00
Public lecture by Inge Bertels on the architectural and construction history of the Antwerp Central Station by Inge Bertels: 'Antwerpen Centraal: van dompige barak tot spoorwegkathedraal'.
Antwerp, Erfgoed bibliotheek
More info:
09.10.2016, 09h15-17h00
Séminaire d'archéologie du CReA-Patrimoine (ULB), année académique 2016-2017 (ULB, Campus du Solbosch, local DC2206)
International Workshop "Destroying Archaeological Heritage in Time of Conflicts Crossed Perspectives"
   Download the program (pdf)
09.10.2016, 18h30-19h30
Séminaire d'archéologie du CReA-Patrimoine (ULB), année académique 2016-2017, "Les atteintes à l’encontre du patrimoine au travers de l’histoire : perspective(s) archéologique(s) et enjeux actuels" (ULB, Campus du Solbosch, local DC2206)
Conférence inaugurale par Bert Smith (Université d’Oxford) "Care of the Past: Buildings and statues at Aphrodisias in later antiquity and after"
Les conférences suivantes se donneront le lundi de 14.00 à 16.00 dans le local AY2.112.
   Download the program (pdf)
27.05.2016, 13h15-15h30
5th biennial meeting of Construction History Society of America
Lecture by Quentin Collette & Ine Wouters, "A riveting story: development of the hot-riveting technique in iron and steel construction (1840-1940)"
University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA
   Download the program (pdf)
15.04.2016, 09:30-16:00
Research seminar "Building Contractors and their Entrepreneurial Strategies"
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Campus Etterbeek, Pleinlaan 2, Building K 2nd floor, Aud. P. Janssens
   Download the program (pdf)
14.04.2016, 18:00-19:30
Lecture by Valérie Nègre (École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris la Villette), "Les architectes, les artisans et la technique au tournant des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles"
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Campus Etterbeek, Pleinlaan 2, Auditorium G.1.023
   Download the poster (pdf)
26.04.2016, 14:00-18:00
"Les métaux ferreux dans la construction. De l’entrée dans l’ère de l’acier à la Première Guerre Mondiale", troisième demi-journée du cycle d'étude sur le thème "Les métaux ferreux dans la construction. Des origines au milieu du 20ème siècle"
   Download the program (pdf)
20.10.2015, 14:00-18:00
"Les métaux ferreux dans la construction : de la Révolution industrielle à l’entrée dans l’ère de l’acier", deuxième demi-journée du cycle d'étude sur le thème "Les métaux ferreux dans la construction. Des origines au milieu du 20ème siècle"
   Download the program (pdf)
24.02.2015, 14:00-18:00
"Le fer dans la construction avant l’ère industrielle", première demi-journée du cycle d'étude sur le thème "Les métaux ferreux dans la construction. Des origines au milieu du 20ème siècle"
   Download the program (pdf)