‘Ad Hoc Baroque - Marcel Raymaekers’ Salvage Architecture in Postwar Belgium’ by Arne Vande Capelle, Stijn Colon, Lionel Devlieger & James Westcott.
Published by Rotor (November 2023). Dutch or English version available.
RotorDC only distributes the book in Belgium. Idea Books is responsible for international distribution.
Marcel Raymaekers was a household name in much of Belgium from the 1970s to the 90s. More than an architect – though technically he wasn’t qualified as one anyway – he concocted and sold dreams of nobility to Belgium’s growing middle class via his business empire Queen of the South, an implausible mix of antiques salvage yard with nightclub/restaurant/‘estaminet’/jazz venue. For nearly 50 years, Raymaekers bought and restored thousands of tons of antique building components and reused them in hundreds of buildings of his own design. These elements, without exception impressive in their craftsmanship and materiality, were – still are – testimony to past material cultures and the staggering amount of buildings demolished since the Second World War. Raymaekers didn’t keep an archive, provided his design services for “free” when selling old materials, and most transactions happened under the radar. Nevertheless, the oeuvre he was able to assemble, and the way he did it, reveal an alternative architectural history of postwar Belgium, and offer glimpses of how design, construction, and labor might have to change to become more circular in the future.
Book ‘Ad Hoc Baroque’ by A. Vande Capelle, S. Colon, L. Devlieger & J. Westcott
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