The Berlage

Keynote Orange Room

Takeaways and Projects


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Recycling Square in Luchtbal, Antwerp. (Photo by Filip Dujardin)

In 2011, Dirk Somers (°1976) founded Bovenbouw Architectuur. With a team of internationally recruited employees, he is working since then on a rich oeuvre of highly developed works that can count on acclaim both nationally and internationally. Bovenbouw's work is based on the tension between thinking and acting, between present and past, and between exoticism and everyday life.

The repertoire of Bovenbouw consists of public buildings, housing and urban development projects from intermediate to large scale spread over Flanders and Brussels. Several schools, police stations, a fire outpost, a training center, a communication center are part of the portfolio of public buildings.

However, Bovenbouw also has a fascination for historical heritage and can add several ongoing and completed renovation projects to its realisations. The military pavilions in the Groen Kwartier Antwerp and the redevelopment of the Beguinage site in Hasselt are part of this. Bovenbouw's work has already been shown at various exhibitions in Venice, Munich, Mendrisio, Aachen, London and Antwerp.

Bovenbouw website

The Berlage Keynotes is an ongoing lecture series featuring internationally prominent architects, designers, and thinkers who are at the forefront of design discourse and innovation. A selection of speakers working from different disciplinary perspectives and in different geographic, cultural, and political contexts present how their work engages with contemporary issues and debates. This fall semester, speakers include Bovenbouw, Arquitectura-G, Sophie Delhay Architecte, John Wood and Paul Harrison, Part Office, Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture, DnA_Design and Architecture, and Dorte Mandrup A/S.

All lectures are viewable online at and are open to the public at the Orange Room, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft.