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History of modern architecture and construction

Research in contemporary architectural history is supervised by Rika Devos

transparent square 75 transparent square 75 logo AIA HIST Impact

The impact and position of technology and science in architecture and engineering (1940-1980)


logo AIA HIST BBuilds

Belgium builds (1918-1969). Strategies, networks and discourses in/on the production of Belgian State architecture

    logo AIA HIST Congo

Tout le Congo est un chantier

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Ongoing doctoral research



Rika Devos 

Research fields and Keywords

Architectural history, Construction history, Innovation, Modernism, Heritage, Actors of building

Research collaborations

Prof. dr. Bernard Espion,

Prof. dr. St. Van de Voorde,

Prof. dr. Johan Lagae,

Construction Histories Brussels:

Archives d'Architecture Moderne:

VIth International congress on Construction History (June 2018, Brussels): website forthcoming

History of modern architecture and construction

Expertise in the history of modern architecture and construction is developed through thematic approaches mainly, through close collaborations with researchers and in larger research projects, some of which are detailed below. The object of study is, in principle, the history of the built environment in the period 1890-1980, considering buildings and ideas on building as products of various modes of production and design, moving explicitly beyond (but not neglecting) a designer-centred approach. The main focus is on the period 1940-1980, with special attention for the Belgian production and building culture. Archival research is at the basis of most projects.

Several themes are being developed, among which:

(1) ideals of collaboration between actors of building: architects, engineers and building contractors mainly;

(2) the impact of new tools and materials on buildings and concepts, including tools for communication with partners and with building bureaucracy. Specific topics in this theme deal with the promotion of materials like asbestos cement (Eternit) or products in glued wood (De Coene) and architecture for cars;

(3) (differences in) historiographical practices in architecture and construction.