During the award ceremony of the first edition of the Brussels Architecture Prize, the winners were revealed to the public. Among the 31 nominated projects, the international jury chose four laureates, an up-and-coming talent for the Promising Young Architect Award and an emblematic Brussels firm for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The People’s Choice Award was also granted during the evening.
1010 architecture urbanism
“The project creates the conditions for new temporary uses in the largely monofunctional European Quarter. The outcome of a collaboration between a diverse group of radical experts, it promotes architecture’s ability to playfully and collectively imagine another future for the city.” – Konstantinos Pantazis
As Simone Kroll says, ‘it’s the story of a career’, before adding, ‘well, career is a mighty big word!’i This sums up the achievements and values of the Simone and Lucien Kroll architecture and urban planning studio: a considerable body of work (more than 100 projects between 1955 and 2008), relentless commitment, and sincere modesty. But let there be no mistake. Systematically drawn to complex situations, conflicts to be resolved and causes to be defended, Simone and Lucien Kroll never chose the easy path. Connected to contemporary realities, concerned about the world as it is evolving, they prove themselves to be, at the age of 94, more anti-establishment and anarchist than ever. The Lifetime Achievement Award of the Brussels Architecture Prize puts the spotlight on these pioneers of participation and ecology, and thus rewards the long, difficult but happy career of this extraordinary couple of designers.
If BC Architects is awarded the title of ‘Promising architect 2021’ by the Brussels Architecture Prize, it is less because of the rather modest size of their built oeuvre (which, incidentally, often came into being ‘extra muros’, even far beyond Belgium) than because of their innovative circular approach to the building process. Or is it perhaps because of their remarkable practice? They are at one and the same time designer, community organizer, producer of circular, local building materials, consultant and think tank.