Vincent Van Duysen : The Poet of Surroundings
What if, beside the physical consciousness created when we wander in the constructed environment, we could relate to our surroundings with our minds? What if forms and spaces had souls and that, like us, they had their own thoughts and scars?
This idea seems romantic, but doesn’t the real essence of poetry rely on this kind of abstract relation between mind and body; between physical sensations and inner reverberation. While poems are made to link up these two sides of human essence, architecture — which usually physically connects us to our surroundings — often seems to fail in reinforcing our sense of self.
Born in 1962 in Lokeren, Belgium, Vincent Van Duysen is, in such a way, trying to give back to architecture this sense of poetry by creating rich and vibrant environments. Equally mastering projects in large scale architecture than interior design, he is always creating with the human at the heart of the equation, moving away from the wanton mannerism of 21st century starchitects.
Formally characterized by stark angles and contrasting textures, Van Duysen’s work goes beyond being visually pleasing. The impact of the environments he creates bring a sense of warm serenity and calmness by elegantly bringing together Belgian and Italian influences.
Often made with natural and sustainable matters, Van Duysen’s work becomes a sanctuary where screens have vanished. His spaces seem to be listening to our most profound needs rather than diving us deeper into an asepticized realm of network connexions and meaningless exploit.
In Van Duysen’s spaces, matters seem to be telling us a story. And this story, like the words of the greatest poets in history, is timeless.
Courtesy Vincent Van Duysen Architect