MArch studio 3 / Anuschka Kutz, Kris Scheerlinck would like to invite you to join them for a wonderful morning talk from BC Architects, entitled The Act of Building . The talk will take place on Tuesday, 23 March at 9.00 am
BC Architects Studies and Materials was formed in 2012. BC stands for ‘Brussels Cooperation’, a non-profit organization with a hybrid structure consisting of an architecture office (BC Architects), an experimental and educational lab (BC Studies) and a cooperative circular material production (BC materials). Four architects – Nicolas Coeckelberghs, Wes Degreef, Ken De Cooman and Laurens Bekemans, studied architecture together at Sint Lukas Brussels (now LUCA Campus Brussels, KU Leuven) and decided to group their ambitions by forming BC.
After their studies, three of the founders went to Burundi to build a new library. In the village of Muyinga, they went to work with the local community – without government commission, contract or any kind of permit. With a budget raised of only 20,000 euros, their traditional Western architecture education – which is mainly based on expensive and CO2-intensive materials – turned out to be less useful. This experience made the young architects reflect on architectural practice.
BC’s architects go beyond building purely aesthetically pleasing buildings. From an ecologically conscious optimism, they conduct thorough research into materials, invest in circular logic and stimulate co-creation. Gradually, BC tries to transform the entire construction industry.
BC believes that in order to have a positive impact on our society, architects must intervene beyond the narrow definition of the professional who designs and controls the execution of buildings. That’s why BC ventures into material production, contracting, knowledge transfer and social organization, all of which affect their design approach. Numerous actors and processes emerge around it and from there the image of a hybrid architectural practice begins to emerge. BC’s view of building gradually evolves from local and very specific experiences, such as the choice to work with local resources and skills, the interest in materials such as soil and hemp concrete, the urge to pioneer, the risks associated with experimentation, registering in an existing building culture and network of builders, organising workshops or construction camps, the need for fruitful collaborations, the necessary redefinition of professional boundaries, the direct commitment to material production and construction, …. BC hopes that architecture can contribute to a world in transition.
In 2019, BC built a circular, modular production warehouse on the Tour & Taxis sites, where BC Materials converts earthmoving from city yards into circular building materials. On the site of circulareconomy.brussels we read about this project: This project wants to build a different city by making room for innovative production activities, low-skilled jobs and circular economy: from the post-industrial city to the productive city. This yard for a circular, modular production warehouse is making way for the first time for building materials and production in the Brussels Region, by temporarily using waiting grounds as a production site. The production warehouse is an investment, a material bank that can move and grow in the city as needed. This warehouse combines incoming reusable materials and new reusable materials in a fully disassembled design: everything can be loaded onto trucks during disassembly to be built on the next waiting area. At the end of the life cycle, the building disappears as components in common reuse cycles, without waste. Circularity is therefore considered here at material level (components), at building level (connections) and at city level (use of space).
All images BC Architects