October 20, 2005 - Middelheim Museum - Renaat Braem – Images of a Pavilion
October 20, 2005

Renaat Braem – Images of a Pavilion

Renaat Braem and the Middelheim Museum Images of a Pavilion
16 October 2005 - 19 February 2006

Middelheim Museum
Middelheimlaan 61 – 2020 Antwerpen
Tel : 03/827.15.34 and 03/828.13.50 – Fax : 03/825.28.35
sara.weyns [​at​] stad.antwerpen.be museum.antwerpen.be

Admission is free.

This autumn the Middelheim Museum is proud to present an exhibition featuring Renaat Braem (1910 – 2001), one of the most important representatives of Belgian post-war architecture. The exhibition shines a spotlight on the man whose designs are no doubt seen today as no less controversial than when originally built. The Antwerp police-headquarters tower, Middelheim Hospital, the Kiel housing project, the Arenaplein in Deurne: one loves his work or one hates it – theres no middle of the road. And though rare is the tourist pilgrimage to these sites, Braems buildings have unmistakably left their stamp on the Antwerp skyline.

Aside from a significant portfolio of buildings, Braem was also the author of some thought-provoking publications. In 1968 appeared Het lelijkste land ter wereld [The Ugliest Country in the World], followed eighteen years later by Het schoonste land ter wereld [The Most Beautiful Country in the World], bearing witness to his love-hate relationship with Belgian architecture.

To shed some explanatory light on the vision of this self-willed student of Le Corbusier, we do not have to cast our net far: owing to his strong belief in the integration of architecture and art, Renaat Braem was intimately involved with the establishment of Middelheim Museum itself.

After having designed a provisional pavilion for Middelheims 7th Sculpture Biennial in 1963, he received a commission from Antwerps city-fathers for designing a permanent structure intended to house the more vulnerable works from the Museums collection. Construction was initiated in 1969, and the pavilion was officially opened to coincide with Middelheims 11th Biennial in 1971.

The hundreds of drawings, from which a representative selection is on view in the pavilion itself, run the gamut from broadly conceived perspectives to minutely worked-out details, from freely drawn sketches to refined presentation pieces. They show step-by-step the evolution of the concept, the formal and constructive problematics arising from the design, and most of all the intuitive, creative powers of Braem the architect, and his virtuosity as draughtsman in communicating this on paper.

Practical information:
The exhibition runs from 16 October 2005 through 19 February 2006.
Middelheim Museum – Middelheimlaan 61 – 2020 Antwerpen – Tel : 03/827.15.34 and 03/828.13.50 – Fax : 03/825.28.35 – museum.antwerpen.besara.weyns@stad.antwerpen.be
Opening hours : 10am 5pm – closed Mondays – closed 1 and 2 November, 25 and 26 December, 1 and 2 January. – Admission is free.

In cooperation with:
VIOE-Vlaams Instituut voor het Onroerend Erfgoed – Renaat Braem Huis Menegemlei 23, 2100 Deurne

Middelheim Museum
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