In Liège, Belgium, we have visited two extraordinary examples of the mid-century modernism.
Belgian modern architecture is full of surprises for us. Names of modernist masters like Lucien Engels, Willy van der Meeren, Renaat Braem, Juliaan Lampens, Jacques Dubuis and others still remain hidden for wider international audience. But some recent articles and reports in the international renowned magazines and blogs slowly uncover the secrets of Belgian modern in last years.
Some time ago, we have visited two amazing modernist residences in the city of Liège. Strict modernist family house built in 1963 by Gruppe EGAU (Études en Groupe d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme) for one of its members Jean Mozin is the finest example of the rationalist movement. The perfect work with the steel construction, highlighting some geometric sculptural details, anticipates high-tech architecture decades before. The influence of Californian light and steel modernist constructions of Raphael Soriano, Albert Frey, Pierre Koenig and others is also evident.
On the other side, there is an organic and intuitive architecture of Jacques Gillet, architect who built very little during his career. His main project remains sculptural house he built for his brother in the forest surrounding Liège. Completed in 1967 in the collaboration with the sculptor Félix Roulin and engineer René Greisch, the structure is made out of steel wire construction and sprayed concrete shell. It creates artificial rock immersed in vegetation and becoming natural part of the landscape.