a+u 21:10 (613) Feature: Marie-José Van Hee architecten available October 2021


In her work, Marie-José Van Hee and her team of architects renew the tradition of building timeless architecture. Throughout her career, she has devoted particular attention to space, natural materials and light, and has made use of classical elements such as the window, door, fireplace, staircase and gallery to anchor the house, the public building, or even the city.

Marie-José has over the years gained respect and esteem for the extraordinarily high quality of life offered by the buildings she designs. They manage to capture in an unpretentious way the intimacy of living in stone and light, as well as reinvent the townhouse typology as a cornerstone of the city of tomorrow, qualities which make her work unique. Her designs for public buildings and bridges are less well known, but nevertheless also shape a humanistic vision on architecture and the city, through the valorisation of public space as a meeting place, and the use of an truly authentic architecture to intensify the experience of light, space and human contact.

Marie-José Van Hee (°1950, Ghent BE) studied architecture at the Higher Institute of Architecture Sint- Lucas in Ghent (Hoger Architectuurinstituut Sint-Lucas). She formed her own architecture studio in Ghent in 1975. Since 1990 her office has worked closely together on a number of projects with Robbrecht & Daem architecten, with whom she shares an office in Lieremanstraat in Ghent. Currently, she employs 8-10 collaborators who are working on projects for public buildings, private houses and urban development.

As a professor in architectural design, Marie-José has long been connected with the Architecture Department of Sint-Lucas School of Architecture. She is currently visiting professor at the ETH Zurich. She has lectured on various occasions in Europe, and has been invited as a guest lecturer and critic at universities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Marie-José Van Hee has received various architecture prizes and nominations, on a national and international level. On three occasions she was awarded the Provincial Prize for Architecture (2013 - Province Vlaams-Brabant / 2003 and 1993 - Province Oost-Vlaanderen), and the reconversion of the centre of the cities of Deinze and Ghent received the Prize Bouwmeester in 2013. She was nominated for the Dutch Abe Bonnemaprijs 2013, and was twice nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe European Prize for Architecture, in 1999 for her own house and in 2013 for Market Hall Ghent.

Marie-José Van Hee participated in the 13th and 16th Biennale di Venezia on invitation of curators Yvonne Farrel and Shelley McNamara in 2018 and Sir David Chipperfield in 2012 and participated in the Belgian Pavillion in 1991. She has received the Biannual Culture Prize for Architecture of the Flemish Community in 1997 and has been a fellow of the Belgian Royal Academy for Sciences and Art since 2008. In 2017, Marie-José was honoured with the 2017 RIBA International Fellowship.

© Lara Kinds

Current and past team members:
Jan Baes | Els Claessens | Sylvie Cosyns | Mattias Deboutte | Céline De Clercq | Lennert Dejonghe | Frederik De Smedt | Sam De Vocht | Valerie Doutreluingne | Dirk Goyens | Yza Hunsinger | Sahar Jaber | Indra Janda | Jessica Langerock | Carmen Osten | Filip Reumers | Alice Sanders | Maarten Vanbelle | Marthe Vandenabeele | Tania Vandenbussche | Menno Vanderghote | Dietlinde Verhaeghe | Tinne Verwerft | Wim Voorspoels | Diego Sanchez | Viktor Derks | Daniel Pickering

Thomas Hick | Frederik De Smedt

Management consultancy:
Kathleen Steel - kasteel bvba

Financial consultancy:
Yves Callens - Montes bvba | Greta Van Belleghem - Sed Arte bvba