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Antwerp sacks prize-winning city architect

11:23 07/02/2014

Antwerp’s city council has decided to dismiss city architect Kristiaan Borret (pictured) and look for a new candidate with “experience in Belgium and internationally”.

Borret’s role was to ensure a high standard and consistency in new architecture in the city. Appointed by Patrick Janssens’ socialist-controlled city council eight years ago, he was meant to remain in the post until 2016. The city council said yesterday that it wanted to “redefine the job in terms of content and organisation”. 

Borret played a key role in the urban development of Antwerp, supervising landmark projects such as the MAS city museum and the new Port House, which is still under construction. He won the Flemish Culture Prize for Architecture last October and was praised by culture minister Joke Schauvliege for “ensuring that architecture was not just about isolated statements but an instrument to bring together our urban space in all its facets.” 

The city had already made deep cuts in the city architect’s department last October, reducing the team from eight to just two people. “Urban planning in Antwerp is now proceeding according to a different political vision,” he said at the time. “I genuinely hope that it will succeed.”

After learning of his dismissal, Borret said: “For me personally, these past few years have been a wonderful period. I am pleased that I could contribute to the urban development of Antwerp. It was truly inspiring to work for a city and a population that shared a single vision.”

Written by Derek Blyth



keep the architect - sack the mayor :-)

Feb 8, 2014 14:38