Echo: A Reshape Erasmus Project

Erasmushuis, Faculty of Arts (KU Leuven)

Marc Dessauvage, 1960-1971

About the architect:

Marc Dessauvage (1931-1984) was a Belgian architect and is considered by many as one of most relevant supporters of the Brutalist movement. The great majority of his work was devoted to religious architecture.

Between 1952-1957, Dessauvage studied in Gent and started his practice with H. Van Kuyck in Antwerpen, between 1958 and 1960, around the same time he also studied urban planning. Around that time he was laureated with the Pro Arte Christiana prize, for his church in Mortsel. 

His work denotes a clear influence of principles and lines such as the ones we observe in Le Corbusier’s and Van der Rohe’s work. Heavily inspired by the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reforms of the Catholic Church, Dessauvage’s churches are often seen as places of “community” and gathering, conceived in a horizontal manner. 

Even taking the nature of the Erasmushuis into account, one which was made for academic purposes, one can never forget the religious background of the institution. Seen from above, the outline of this building resembles a stylised Greek cross, which not only affirms the Catholic faith, but creates a continuity between the previous functions that were held on this ground when it was occupied by Saint Joseph’s church. 

Selection of other projects:


“Sint-Jozef Ambacthsmankapel” 

Willebroek, Antwerp


“Atelierwoning/Work Studio” 

Zedelgem, Brugge

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