Dom Hans van der Laan PHDSint-Lucas School of Architecture, Brussels / Ghent, Belgium
Arenberg Doctoral School, KULeuven, Belgium
Prof. Dr. Yves Schoonjans
Sint-Lucas School of Architecture, Brussels / Ghent, Belgium
And Prof. Dr. Luc Verpoest
Arenberg Doctoral School, KULeuven, Belgium
Prof. Dr. Krista De Jonge
Prof. Dr. Raoul Bauer
Prof. Dr. Jan De Maeyer
With the support of:
The Van der Laan Archives, Benedictusberg Vaals, the Netherlands
The Van der Laan Stichting, the Netherlands
Timing: 2006 - 2013
Research QuestionStarting in the 1920’s the Dutch architect and monk Dom Hans van der Laan (1904-1991) searches for more than 60 years to find the right balance between spatial expression and rational understanding. According to him, the foundation of this liaison lies in proportion. In 1977 he publishes his book Architectonic Space, a manifesto with his own proportional system, embedded in a phenomenological approach, while linking it to practical design guidelines.
What is the context of this publication? How can we understand it?
This research aims to trace the important elements of Van der Laan’s Benedictine and architectural background that influenced his search and places them in context. The emphasis in this is on the development of his design methodology and the constant dialogue with his realisations.
Goal is to develop an in-depth understanding of Van der Laan’s Architectonic Space through its historical development. As such, it is necessary to move beyond the historiography reconstructed by Van der Laan himself in the 1980’s. When moving beyond this reconstruction, it becomes clear that the foundation of his proportion the plastic number, as well as his philosophy of architectonic space already has its roots long before Van der Laan starts writing and teaching. Through the analysis of early drawings, unpublished source material and communication, the intrinsic relation between his motivations, his teaching and realisations is mapped out.
Publication by Architectura and NaturaIn 2016, part of this research was published by Architectura and Natura.
With new drawings by Rik van der Laan.
In a collaboration with editors Rob De Carpenier, Babs Rentjes and Gerhard Brüggeman.
1.Voet, Caroline. Dom Hans van der Laan’s Architectonic Space: A peculiar Blend of Architectural Modernity and Religious Tradition. The European Legacy, Toward New Paradigms, 22 (3), art.nr. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10848770.2017.1288465, 318-338. (2017)
2. Voet, Caroline, De Caigny, Sofie, Schrijver, Lara and Vandermarliere, Katrien (eds.), Autonomous Architecture in Flanders. The Early Works of Marie-José Van Hee, Christian Kieckens, Marc Dubois, Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem (Leuven: Universitaire Pers Leuven / Antwerpen: VAi, 2016).
1. Voet, Caroline, ‘Architecture of Zaha Hadid’, interview with Caroline Voet on RADIO 1, by Eliane Van den Ende, 21 September 2005.
2. Voet, Caroline, ‘Cybernautica’, in Belgium New Architecture, Prisme Editions, Brussels, 2001.
3. Voet, Caroline, ‘Cybernautica’, in Defining Digital Architecture, 2000 Feidad Award’, Dialogue, Taipei, 2001.
4. Voet, Caroline, ‘Fyber Space’, in Antwerpse Architectuur Cahiers 2, 1999.
5. Voet, Caroline, ‘Moiré Space Frame’ en ‘Touriscape’, in @sa Henry van de Velde Institute, 1998.
6. ‘Bussiness-Research-Architecture, Projects from the Design Research Lab’, edited by Patrick Schumacher, in Daidalos 69/70, 1998/1999.
Conferences and round tables• Voet, Caroline, Research on Space as a productive design tool, Re-introducing aesthetics into the design studio, presentation paper at the international conference: Theory by Design, Architectural Research made explicit in the design teaching studio, Antwerp, Belgium, 29-31 October 2012.
• EAHN Second International Meeting, Brussels, 31 May – 3 June 2012, presentation paper: Benedictine thought as a catalyst for 20st Century liturgical space. The motivations behind Dom Hans van deer Laan’s ascetic church architecture,
• Voet, Caroline, Organisation Round Table Session, Teaching Architectural Theory in the design Studio,Chaired by prof. Alain Findeli, speakers: Adam Nathaniel Furman, Karel Wuytack, Roeland Smit, Bart Van Gassen, Caroline Voet. Sint-Lucasinstitute Ghent, 29 May 2012.
• International conference on Proportional Systems in the History of Architecture, University Leiden, presentation paper: ‘Proportion as a practical design tool: Dom Hans van der Laans Architectonic Space’, The Netherlands, 17-19 March 2011.
• International conference on Kerkenbouw vanaf 1945 in het gebied van Maas en Rijn, Maastricht, presentation paper: 'Dom Hans van der Laan - zijn invloed op na-oorlogse kerkenproductie in Zuid - Limburg', The Netherlands, 28-29 September 2007.
• The first EAAE-ENHSA Sub-network Workshop on Architectural Theory, Content and Methods of Teaching Architectural Theory in European Schools of Architecture, Section 4 Research and Design, Hosted by: Dept. of Architecture, Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg (PHL), Member of the Association of Hasselt University, presentation paper: ‘IMA SUMMIS, Dom Hans van der Laan as a teacher, reflections on his methodology within a contemporary architectural discourse’, Hasselt, Belgium, 21-23 September 2006.
• member of the Scientific Committee, International symposium: Jesu Moder Marias Convent at Mariavall, Sweden, as a research field for the correlation between theory and practice in the later stages of the work of Dom Hans van der Laan, Tomelilla, Sweden, presentation paper: ‘The Jesu Moder Marias Convent as a specimen of Architectonic Space’, Tomelilla, Sweden, 25-26 June 2009.
• Van der Laan dag, yearly symposium on the work of Dom Hans van der Laan, organised by the Van der Laan Founadtion, presentation paper: ‘Dom Hans van der Laan and Dom Talma’, 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, 11 January 2008
• member of the Scientific Committee, International Symposium on Dom Hans van der Laan, Sint-Lucas Dep. Architecture, Ghent, presentation paper: ‘Spatial Systematics in the work of Dom Hans van der Laan’, Ghent, Belgium, 22 March 2007.
• Voet, Caroline, ‘Spatial Systematics in the work of Dom Hans van der Laan’, GRC-EU & Joint Doctoral Seminars 2011.1, Sint-Lucas, Department of Architecture & The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), 16 and 17 April 2011.
• Voet, Caroline, 'Beauty through objectivism, form abstraction in the work of Dom Hans van der Laan', 14th Joint Doctoral Seminar in Theory and History of Architecture, (Catholic University Leuven, Sint-Lucas Architecture Brussels-Ghent, Ghent University, Université Catholique de Louvain, Institute for Higher Education on Architecture Henry van de Velde Antwerp), Dep. Of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning, KULeuven, 30 April 2008.
• Voet, Caroline, ‘Spatial Systematics in the work of Dom Hans van der Laan’, member of the Scientific Committee, Symposium on Dom Hans van der Laan, Sint-Lucas, Ghent, Belgium, 22 March 2007.
Since September 2005, Caroline Voet is an active teaching member of the History and Theory Department, Sint-Lucas School of Architecture, Ghent.1. ’12- now and ’05-’10: Architectural History and Theory, seminars for ‘Traject AAD (Advanced Architectural Design), 2nd Master of Architecture.
2. ’06- now: workshops at Roosenberg Abbey, Waasmunster, for teachers and students from Sint-Lucas Institute Brussels-Ghent, Dep. of Architecture.
3. ’10- now: Seminar Cultuuratelier Architectuur, 2nd Bachelor Interieurvormgeving.
4. ’05- 12: Supervisor Master Thesis, 3rd Master of Architecture.
5. ’06-’12: Seminar Architectuur Actualia, 2nd Bachelor Interieurvormgeving.
- Architectural design 2nd year and thesis supervisor 5th year
December 2003 – December 2005: Assistant at the VUB Free University of Brussels, Faculty of Architectural Engineering
- Teacher CAD design
- Launch and development of the Year Book
January 2003: Guest teacher at the Architectural Association Intermediate Unit 4 (3rd year), London- ‘Synergetic Field Operations’, the design of a house by internalising the logic of the edge through specific field operations
- Technique: models and digital tools
- Focus on the development of strategies to bring architecture closer to craftsmanship
November 2002: Workshop leader at the Symposium HITEC LOTEC in Bristol
- Projects: Anatopism through a bridge structure in London and a housing project in Brussels
2001-2002: Teacher at the Architectural Association, Diploma Unit 5 (4th and 5th year), with Christian Kieckens, architectural design
- Organisation of studytrip to Vienna
- ‘Structural Skins’, the development of structures that gain rigidity by complex folding
January 2001: Guest teacher in first year, studio 5, at the Architectural Association, London
- Technique: models and the development of a ‘catalogue of folding techniques’
- ‘Material Trajectories’, the material exploration of complex mathematical organizations
2000-2001: Guest teacher at DRL Graduate School, Architectural Association, London
- Technique: computer animation and simulation, models
- ‘Surface Workshop’, architecture as a second skin
November 1999: Guest teacher at the Henry van de Velde Institute, Antwerp
- Technique: one to one scale objects
- Themes ‘Body Structures’ and ‘Street Furniture’, the exploration of structures that develop from a state of prosthesis into urban generators
1999-2000: Guest teacher in Foundation at the Architectural Association, London
- Technique: one to one scale objects