Reference : Raymond Lemaire and History of Architecture Applied to Urbanism
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Engineering, computing & technology : Architecture
Arts & humanities : Art & art history
Raymond Lemaire and History of Architecture Applied to Urbanism
Houbart, Claudine mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Architecture Site Lambert Lombard > Architecture Site Lambert Lombard >]
Architectural History as [Applied] Science
du 9 au 10 novembre 2011
KULeuven - VAI - Universiteit Antwerpen - Vrije Universitet Brussel - Provincie Vlaams-Brabant
[en] Urban renewal ; hsitoricist urbanism ; Raymond Lemaire
[en] “I don’t have the pretention of having created a new trend in urbanism. I am simply convinced that there is more genius and intelligence in the long experience accumulated by the generations, facing the problems of life, than in one single man’s head, even brilliant”. Raymond Lemaire synthesizes, in these words, in 1988, his vision of urbanism, in an interview on his project of Port-la-Rochette, a neo-traditional tourist centre on the shore of one of the Eau d’Heure Lakes .

During his whole career, but more particularly in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Lemaire has skilfully used his abilities as an architectural historian to put forward an alternative vision of the city to the more and more questioned modernism. Experimented through many projects all over the country, the methodology set up following the renovation works of the Groot Begijnhof of Leuven (1964-1971) is applied to some of the fragments of ancient urban fabric that subsist in Brussels, threatened by construction projects and “progressive” urbanism. For the association Quartier des Arts or the city administration, he works not only on conservation projects of buildings within these areas, but also on the elaboration of normative plans supposed to guarantee the harmonious continuity of the new and the ancient built environment. This is a real application of history of architecture to prospective urbanism, the extreme expression of which can be seen in the design of Louvain-la-Neuve, that cannot be detached from Lemaire’s experience in urban renewal.

This contribution will attempt to examine the modes according to which Lemaire uses his historical knowledge to put forward a new vision of the ancient city, through case studies in Brussels, often not realized. Theses case studies can bring some light on certain aspects of historicist urbanism, its political implications, and also its limits.
Researchers ; Students

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