Unfolding the Archives #6 - Marcel Raymaekers, pioneer in circular architecture

Marcel Raymaekers' architecture differs from well-known Belgian post-war architecture in that it consists almost exclusively of salvaged materials. Between the 1960s and 2014, he developed an extensive oeuvre relying almost exclusively on second hand materials and other waste products. This exhibition is part of Rotor's effort to make his remarkable work known in Belgium and beyond.  

Complementary to the book 'Ad Hoc Baroque', this exhibition zooms in on a couple of material fluxes present in the oeuvre of Marcel Raymaekers. Eight specific material stories are told by showing the archival material that was dug up during the research for the book. From Meuse boulders over jetfighter cupolas to an Art Nouveau facade, the trajectory of each of these materials is shown from their sourcing to their eventual application in one of his projects. To make things as tangible as possible, a selection of actual building components were transported from the (still operational!) stock of his reclamation company, Queen of the South to the exhibition space. And finally, it is Raymaekers himself who, in a video-interview, explains the day-to-day life at 'the Queen', and his motivations and methods for working with reuse (see video below). 

The exhibition fits within the exhibition series 'Unfolding the Archives', organised by the Flanders Architecture Institure (VAi) showcasing materials present in their collection. As such, it is the final step of the larger effort to not only document Raymaekers oeuvre, but to archive all of the material discovered during the research to make it easily accessible for further research. Hundreds of original pictures, plans and other documents have been scanned and included in the collections of the VAi during the course of the project. 



Team Rotor

Robbe Vander Mynsbrugge, Stijn Colon and Arne Vande Capelle with the help of Lionel Devlieger (Ghent University) 

Team VAi

Eva Weyns, Nino Goyvaerts, Egon Verleye


Gunter Blokken (opname en productie)

Location and 

deSingel, Antwerp. 
6 september 2023 - 17 maart 2024

Thanks to

- Anja Hellebaut and Anthony De Meyere for the new photographs.
- Ludo and Lut Hansen, Jan Mees, the families Nijsen, Kelchtermans, Van Heers and Boncher, and the other private and institutional archive holders who provided us with original photographs, albums, building components and other pieces for the exhibition. 





With the support of