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Bas Smets | Lunch with an Architect

Bas Smets

Lunch with an Architect

Lunch with an Architect is intended as a forum for reflection and discussion to improve the quality of architecture in Brussels.

Through 3 meetings a year, Lunch with an Architect, in cooperation with Flagey, provides the real estate world with a window on the major contemporary events in the world of architecture, the more specifically Belgian issues, and the emblematic projects under way. 

The Belgian landscape architect Bas Smets is a man of conviction. For him, there is an urgent need to rethink the city so as to make it more resilient. To do this, cities have to be demineralized, the earth must be allowed to breathe, rainwater must be allowed to percolate back into the soil and habitable ecosystems must be recreated.

His latest creation, the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, is a "miracle" as he has transformed an arid, dry space into a vast 33-hectare Mediterranean park, replete with plants and trees, created from a completely mineral space! The Parc des Ateliers has become a research and experimental project for the entire region.

The projects of Bas Smets’s firm  range in scale from territorial visions to infrastructural landscapes, from large parks to private gardens -- always with a distinctive will to invent "augmented landscapes" using the rationale of nature. These augmented landscapes produce a new climate while creating new atmospheres. Cooperation with artists and scientists is central to this endeavour.

The projects by Bas Smets include the Tour & Taxis park, the Saint-Gilles square, the public space around the Trinity Tower in Paris La Défense, the Sunken Garden in London, the Himara Waterfront in Albania, ....

Several of his major projects are currently underway, such as the urban forest around the Part Dieu train station in Lyon, the Nieuw Zuid [New South] project in Antwerp and the sculpture park in Amagansett, New York.

Bas Smets holds a master's degree in architecture and civil engineering from the University of Leuven and a master's degree in landscape from the University of Geneva. He has taught at numerous schools such as the École d'Architecture la Cambre [La Cambre School of Architecture] in Brussels, the École Spéciale d'Architecture [Special School of Architecture] in Paris and the Technische Universität [Technical University] in Graz.

In 2008, he was awarded  the French biennial prize for young landscape architects "Les Nouveaux Albums des Jeunes Architectes et des Paysagistes" [The New Albums of Young Architects and Landscape Architects]. A first monographic exhibition was held in 2013 by the Singel International Arts Centre and the Arc en Rêve [Dreambow] architecture centre in Bordeaux.

In 2017, he was appointed general curator of the Bordeaux Architecture Biennial and in 2018 received the urban planning award from the French Academy of Architecture.

Flagey, F()rum