13.02.2021–25.04.2021 ARCHIVE PRESENTATION: T.O.P. office M HKA

Luc Deleu & T.O.P. Office

T.O.P. office (Turn-On Planning office) is an architecture and urban planning collective founded by Luc Deleu (1944) in Antwerp in 1970. Deleu is notorious for his statement "I think that every architect is an artist. And if he's not an artist, he's not an architect either." Deleu considers both to be closely related manifestations of thought.

Luc Deleu gradually develops the notion of what he refers to as 'orbanism': urban architectural thinking is no longer based on the scale of the city (urbanism), but rather on the scale of the globe (orbanism). After the publication of his Orban Planning Manifesto in 1980, Deleu remained continuously and radically focused on social reflection on, and through, art and urbanism.

Luc Deleu is a major presence on the Flemish and Belgian architectural scene. His unconventional insights still influence generations of architecture students to this day and have a profound impact on the architectural debate. T.O.P. office was in this respect one of the pioneers of the notion of 'design-based research'.

The archive presentation at the M HKA focuses on a number of buildings realised by T.O.P. office, structures in which Deleus' reflections are clearly expressed. Using archival material including models, photographs, clippings, designs and plans, we are given a unique insight into the creation, development and realisation of several striking buildings, such as the Hotel Stôk in Poortugaal, the Clinckx House in Ekeren, the Casa Roja in Tervuren, the Belpaire House in Steenhuize, and the Belle Epoque Centre in Blankenberge.

In the presentation, special attention is paid to the Dépendance Furka in Switzerland, the workplace of Panamarenko (1940-2019), core artist in the M HKA collection. Luc Deleu was a good friend of Panamarenko and he supervised all the renovations to the Panamarenko house on the Biekorfstraat in Antwerp. The M HKA has been managing this property since 2002.