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Blaton archives

Contact Rika Devos
Research fields and keywords


Project team

Prof. dr. Bernard Espion (ULB); prof. M. Provost (ULB); prof. dr. Rika Devos (ULB); Yaron Pesztat (AAM) and Maurice Culot (AAM).


In September 2013, about 70m3 of archives from the Brussels based construction company Blaton were donated to the Archives Modern Architecture (AAM) in Brussels and made available for research. The exploration of these archives offers a rare opportunity for documenting the History of Construction in Belgium for the following reasons:

  • Archives from Belgian contractors are very rare; family run construction companies founded in the 1800s or 1900s often did not survive over three generations, and no archives were preserved;
  • The Blaton Company is an exception; it began its existence in 1865 and today, after five generations, a Brussels based company bearing the name Blaton is still very active and is chaired by a direct descendent of the founder of the Company;
  • The Blaton Company was known to be a major actor in the History of Construction in Belgium, but its history was not yet documented.

The archival fund with the AAM spans only the period 1905-1955. The wealth of the archives allows for many other stories in Belgian Construction (on public works, early concrete in Belgium, architecture, industrial buildings, bridge construction, early pre-stressed concrete, work and building site organisation in the period 1920-1950, …), and several papers are expected to come out of this research.

A comprehensive book on the Blaton company is being prepared, under the title: Blaton. Une dynastie de bâtisseurs.


Private funded project at AAM,  2014-2016