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Introducing Belgium's most lauded architect, interior designer and product designer: Vincent Van Duysen, a behemoth legend who coats his projects in a pared-back aesthetic and minimalist style over various disciplines, including furniture, lighting, interiors and of course, the big structural designs that really show his mettle.
The man behind the myth, Vincent Van Duysen created his architecture business back in 1989, after he took possession of a degree from the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture, Ghent. He then cut his teeth with Italian designer Aldo Cibic in Milan and learnt from the late Jean De Meulder in Antwerp, Belgium. Today, the firm stands as a strong international-outlook team of thirty which is well-known for its work on upscale residentials from UAE to the USA.
But with his reductive design stretching like long fingers in a vast variety of pies, you are likely to see his chic, styled-down furniture in Zara Home as you are his lighting in Flos, with his designs decorating his home country, Belgium such as the recent renovation of Hotel August in Flemish city Antwerp to the far-reaching global confines of Thailand where he designed a heritage store in Bangkok.
In terms of his impressive architecture, Van Duysen’s skill lies in peeling back the layers to a structure’s core, but without compromising the building’s heart and soul – he celebrates the bones of its heritage by keeping the design understated and clean – with a focus on user experience from calming décor to comfortable armchairs, light-flooded interiors and tactile, natural materials.
His interest in product design, another string to his successful bow, allows him to experiment more with the relationship between architecture and interior design. The delicate lines of a solid wood ‘Janet’ chair, designed by Vincent Van Duysen for Molteni&C (Van Duysen became the creative director of Italian brand Molteni&C in 2016, designing their flagship stores, exhibition stands and a series of new products) is a simple and slim-lined structure, sturdy yet comfortable chair – that looks completely at home in his understated interiors.
Of course, this pared-back look is commonplace today; we’re accustomed to its cool and contemporary look with muted hues and less-is-more aesthetic. But Vincent von Duysen was really one of the forefathers and purveyors of this understated style – which naturally makes him utterly timeless.