Vincent Van Duysen

 

Vincent Van Duysen was born in Lokeren, Belgium, in 1962, and undertook a degree in Architecture at the Higher Institute of Architecture Sint-Lucas, Ghent. Between 1986 and 1987 Van Duysen worked in Milan collaborating with Aldo Cibic – Sottsass Associati, after which, in 1990, he opened his own studio in Antwerp concentrating on architecture and interiors. Van Duysen’s early residential projects were noted for the way the interiors subtlety merged and enhanced the architecture but with the completion of the Concordia Offices, in 2000, his ability and reputation as an architect was firmly established. From the beginning Van Duysen has practiced an approach that covers all aspects of architecture and design – with respect for context and tradition his expressions are unafraid of aesthetics and resists fashion and trends. Architecture and interiors with an essentialism and depth have become a signature of Van Duysen’s work. Former Elle Decoration Editor and design contemporary Ilse Crawford suggests a ‘juxtaposition of the architectural with the irregular. Light and shade. The flow seems effortless… By the end you are not just impressed by the beauty of the spaces but by the memory of the details and the feeling of the materials and it is the latter that stays with you. Vincent Van Duysen is that rare architect who can combine a modern language of form with an intuitive feel for materials.‘ At its core Van Duysen’s architecture deals explicitly with an knowledge of materials and their physicality – a reflection of the senses. A strong relationship exists between Van Duysen’s designs and architectural projects – he develops furniture and objects with an architectural perspective – creating spatial relations rather than shapes. A rescaled interpretation of the architectural work, Van Duysen creates pieces that afford a purity and essentialism yet remain tactile and grounded. Subsequently many of the designs reference primary forms or historical objects which Van Duysen redefines through a contemporary lens. A balance of form and proportion – without omitting durability, function, and comfort – is critical to the design process. Van Duysen embraces these emotional aspects of architecture as ‘the art of living’. In September 2016 Van Duysen was appointed Designer of the Year at the 25th Silver Edition of Biennale Interieur and awarded with the Flemish Culture Prize for Design 2015. Currently his Antwerp-based office consists of 21 collaborators who work across a domestic and global portfolio. The offices’ broad reach features numerous works in Belgium and significant international projects including residential works in Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Milan, office buildings in Beirut and Riyadh, and high-end commercial fitouts in Rome and Tokyo. In 2016 Van Duysen was appointed new art director of the Italian Molteni&C group including Dada kitchens. Van Duysen’s work has been published widely – in 2001, an inaugural monograph was published by the Spanish GG Editions and reflected the first 10 years of Vincent’s work with emphasis on his architectural projects. The comprehensive ‘Complete Works’, published by Thames & Hudson in 2010, focused on his multidisciplinary approach where architecture, interior architecture, and design are equally considered. Featuring contributions from leading architects and critics, the edition has been one of Thames & Hudson’s most popular recent titles with close to 11,000 copies. Due to the popularity of Vincent’s work, the office was approached in 2013 by Portuguese publisher A.MAG to release an updated edition of selected works and again in 2016 by Japan magazine A+U. A fifth monograph – again by Thames & Hudson – that will consolidate the offices’ most recent work captured by a selection of world renowned architecture and interior photographers is slated for 2017.

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