Luc Schuiten – Living House

This is a model of a Brussels house from the 19th century, restored two hundred years later using materials coming from living nature. The architecture of the family house was maintained alongside shapes created by new vegetal constructions engrafted onto the existing building.

The city regenerates itself through a process of simultaneous social and natural ecology, brought about by very complex systems of grafting, layering, and cutting used by gardenersbuilders. In this point of view, the architect does not approach with the idea of destroying the existing historical structure, but on the contrary tries to integrate new ideas into the history of the city. New porches, pergolas, and loggias emerge on street façades where spare time can be spent or plants may be grown. The external cladding and engrafted plant constructions on existing structures emphasize the idea of necessary changes in dwelling functionsand consumer habits.

Luc Schuiten

The basic consideration of Luc Schuiten is an awareness of the threat to which our contemporary way of life and all living creatures are exposed. The deteriorating environment, climatic changes, and serious threats to biodiversity lead more and more to negativity and fear, bringing visions of the planet whose integrity is endangered through human aggression and which don’t offer other social projects due to fears of an apocalyptic future. Luc Schuiten’s utopian vision invites us, on the contrary, to come together to generate a positive creativity, to create a desirable future, to imagine cities where a man is not afraid to breathe deeply, where there is space for the smell of flowers, for birds singing,
for small back vegetable gardens and meandering rivers. He suggests that we create space as an epitome of one of the basic principles of living nature, i.e. that life itself creates all conditions favourable for survival. These creative visions should not be understood as a kind of assertion, but rather as questions which he submits to the public: is this the future which we wish to have, or would we desire a different one? In comparison to a rationalistic approach to the city that works on accentuated functions and the quantifications of essential technical needs, and which organizes everything into a ground plan in order to gain space for people, the holistic approach of Luc Schuiten may come as a surprise. It is an incarnation of quite another process of invention: it first projects itself into a final result, imagining a world desirable for all species and protecting all living elements, then it approaches the image of the existing landscape to reshape it and produce a cohesive whole from it. The artist refines this original rendering of a sustainable future in close collaboration with biologists from the Biomimicry Europa association.


Lu Schuiten

Avenue Huart Hamoir 83a

1030 Bruxelles, Belgique
+32 02 242 93 61



Zdroj: redakce AW, Organic City 2016

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