As the first country on the European continent to industrialize, Belgium was an important centre for the flowering of modernism. It was also the first country in Europe to move out of the city into suburban villas, aided by solid transport networks.
Susan Galavan will present her ongoing post-doctoral work, which builds on research on the British and Irish context to examine the row house typology in Belgium. It investigates a range of projects built between 1880 and 1920, a period of great change in architectural design, as new technologies and materials transformed the way we build for all time.
Galavan's current focus of enquiry is on the Squares District of Brussels, a large residential area which emerged to the north-east of the city towards the end of the nineteenth century. Blending fieldwork analysis with archival research, she will explore the process of domestic architectural production and the role of the various actors in shaping these eclectic streetscapes. While highlighting the role of the suburban house as a vehicle for the expression of late nineteenth-century themes, this project will provide valuable insight into a much-ignored architectural legacy in Belgium.