Architecture Workroom

Exploring the metropolitan condition


In the context of an artist residency, Dutch photographer Dieuwertje Komen was asked by Architecture Workroom to photograph the clash between the existing urban fabric, the Regional Express Network (RER) and the fabric of the periphery of Brussels, and thus to document and expose the potential of these areas-in-transition. A specific focus of the project is the impact of large-scale infrastructure and architecture on the urban reality as possible driving forces for new urban development.


Picture Dieuwertje Komen

The present development of a regional public transport network in and around Brussels ̶ the well-publicised RER ̶ is more than merely an infrastructure project. It encompasses an extremely diverse series of multiple areas and situations in a single system. Thus parts of the city, landscapes, historical villages, industrial sites and housing developments become part of a metropolitan Brussels. The large-scale nature of the constructions, however, stand in sharp contrast to the fragmented fabric they intersect. Hence, today we encounter the Brussels periphery in a state of transition. The urban transformations expose the intrinsic conflict between the visionary ambitions for the metropolis and the historical identity of the local fabric. It is this friction that is often described as alienating. Consequently, the incorporation of the hinterland in the 21st century and the construction of the Brussels metropolis ̶ capital of Europe ̶ is not an easy task. This, however, does not take away from the fact that the tension created is bursting with possibilities.

An initial public moment within this research project is a small publication, a snapshot as it were, that reveals the work in progress on the occasion the Open House of the Brussels art workshops and as part of the Kunstenfestival Des Arts. This is taking place in co-production with the work Retroterra by Italian artist Anna Rispoli and her Spanish colleague Edurne Rubio. This artistic work attempts to grasp the relationship between city and users by means of sound clips and conversations. In the process, a three-fold dialogue emerges in the form of narration, photography and cartography.

Initiative & Cartography

Architecture Workroom Brussels

Joachim Declerck (director)

Roeland Dudal (director)

Thomas Cattrysse (cartography)


Dieuwertje Komen (

Manon van den Bliek (assistant)


Hans Gremmen (


Anna Rispoli & Edurne Rubio (artists)

Ivan Carozzi (text)

Els Viaene (sound)

Anna Rispoli (direction)

Manuel von Rahden (production assistant)

With the support of the Flemish government, VGC and COCOF


Brussels, atelier, ongoing


The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Master Class—120% Brussels
City Trajectory—Brussels Canal
Program—Building For Brussels
Exhibition—Building for Brussels
Exhibition—Architecture for Justice
Concept studios—Spatial Policy Plan of Flanders
Article A+ 282 village— Cultivate the food landscape
Vacancy - Operational Director (w/m/x)
Delta Atelier document
Vacancy— Research collaborators
Vacancy— Communication manager
Transition— Learning, living, working in 2050
Publication— Architectuurcultuur in Vlaanderen (only in NL)
Workshop II— Delta Atelier Urban Management
Air For Schools workshop— Keizer Karellaan and Leopold II-tunnel
Netwerkbijeenkomst— Ontwerp met Beleid
Bap! Biennale of architecture and landscape of Île-de-France— 1st edition
Socio-spatial study— Baudelo Building Ghent
Water+Land+Scape approved
Urbanising in Place— Rosario Workshop
Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
You Are Here - Brussels
Announcement — IABR-THE MISSING LINK Rotterdam and Brussels
Urbanising in Place— Building the Food-Water-Energy nexus
IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link— Delta Atelier
Antwerp— Mapping the shift of metropolitan phenomena in Berchem extra muros
Publication— Designing the Future
CS Genk— Campus Bret 21st century learning landscape
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— and test site M4H
IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio— Has left the starting blocks
Regional Call IABR-Atelier OVK— Help shape the future of the East Flanders Core region
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
Open Space Platform— Call Water-Land-Schap
Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia
Open Space Platform— Publication Operation Open Space
THE MISSING LINK— Curator Statement, Research Agenda and Call for Practices
Atelier Zennevallei
Urban Intervention — BRIDGE
Workshop Series — Urban Economy in the Brussels Metropolitan Area
Lecture and Debate — Fitting More Industry In
Rotterdam Biennale appoints three curators for diptych 2018+2020
A Whole World to Win— Floris Alkemade in conversation with Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck
Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods
Atelier Kortrijk 2025— Innovative urban development strategy
Designing The Future— series of debates
Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
Atelier Brussels— Expo A Good City Has Industry
Spoor Oost— Urban Renewal Project
City of Bruges— Week of the City
Zeebrugge Revitalisation— Urban Renewal Project
Torhout— experiential and identity study
Launch OASE 96 Social Poetics— The Architecture of Use and Appropriation
From cure to care— transitions in the healthy city of Utrecht
Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
Imagine Europe— Bozar
Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
Development strategy— Ostend Eastern Shore
Review of spatial structure plan— Bruges City
The City as Factory— Buda Workroom
Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
Architecture Culture Platform
Ghent Muide-Meulestede
IABR 2016 — Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City
Publication—Reweaving the Urban Carpet
Eurodelta 2030 - 2100
Eurometropolitan Blue Space
Atelier— Productive BXL
Atelier de Stad— Brussels
Lecture — Mark Brearley
Festival Kanal Play Ground
Metropolitan Coast Landscape 2100
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature— Atelier Brabantstad
Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
Atelier— In Between
Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
Preparatory workshop— development plan for Sidaplax in Ghent
Atelier De Stad Brussels— Kanal Play Ground
International Atelier— Eurometropolis
Expert advice— 'Nieuw Gent'
Preparatory workshop— housing development plan in Kapellen
Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
Vlaanderen als Ontwerp— Atelier
The Ambition of the Territory— deSingel International Arts Campus
Lecture—Carolyn Steel - The Hungry City
Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux
Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders
Guide plan—Brussels canal
The Ambition of the Territory—Belgian Pavilion Venice 2012
Making City—5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Project definition—new prison in Haren
Building for Brussels— Architecture and urban transformation in Europe
Making City—Atelier Istanbul
G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
Exploring the metropolitan condition
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.