The Belgian architect Marie-José Van Hee (1950–) takes a special place in contemporary architecture. She is best known for her residences and renovations. Her own iconic house has been published in numerous books and magazines. The Momu Fashion Museum in Antwerp is also a well-known design of hers.
In 2017, Van Hee received the biennial Flemish Culture Prize for Architecture and the prestigious RIBA Award (British International Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects). In 2018 she was invited by curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara (Grafton Architects) to participate in the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Van Hee is doubtless an architect for architects – her work is greatly appreciated by Belgian and international colleagues. But her oeuvre is also very attractive for a wider audience that is interested in architecture and lifestyle.
The book is conceived in such a way that it offers the broadest and most comprehensive overview of her oeuvre: sketches, renovations, new constructions, competitions, furniture and bridge designs. [It] introduces an extensive series of sketches because the drawings embody her first powerful ideas for a design. Next to the introduction by Katrien Vandermarliere, essays by architects/critics Helen Thomas, Javier Fernandéz Contreras and Christian Kieckens were included.
The architect pays a lot of attention to the implantation of her buildings in the local context and nature plays an important role in her private homes (inner gardens). That is why this aspect was illustrated richly with photos.
To emphasize the human aspect – after all, a house is inhabited by people – three testimonials from residents were recorded. They explain why they deliberately chose this architect, describe their experiences during the construction process and why they are so satisfied with their new home.
Photographers Michel Hendrickx and David Grandorge give a personal impression of Marie-José Van Hee’s architecture, artist Kris Martin and photographer Dirk Braeckman also made a special contribution to the book.
A project list of the realized buildings forms the final piece of this monograph.