Between public and private: town architects in Belgium during the interwar period

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For want of legislation, municipal architects in small Belgian towns were able to develop flourishing private practices until the Second World War. Their resulting, rather ambiguous, position in between public and private allowed them to influence interwar reconstruction efforts in myriad ways, from sweeping, top-down projects led by the central government to local initiatives. More than has been acknowledged thus far the private practice of municipal architects seems to have influenced efforts to create aesthetically distinctive townscapes. This argument is advanced here with reference to the case of Dendermonde, a town heavily damaged during the First World War.

Keywords: Belgium; historical townscape; interwar period; reconstruction; town architect

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Art History, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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