‘The great-grandfather I never knew has gradually become closer to me as I read what was written about him and discovered the circumstances in which he must have lived and worked. It has become Jos’s story, following his path from budding architect to the one who has the age I have now. For me it also became an act of looking back.’
Architect Jos Viérin (1872-1949) played a prominent role in the reconstruction of the Destroyed Regions. After World War I, it was decided to reconstruct identically the towns and villages that had been razed to the ground on the front. That is why Diksmuide, Ypres, Nieuwpoort and Lampernisse still show such remarkable unity today.
Reconstruction architecture was long decride, in part under the influence of modernism. Philippe Viérin (noAarchitecten) went in search of the meaning of reconstruction. What drove his great-grandfather? Was the reconstruction successful or not? The search forced him to clarify his own vision of architecture.
Philippe Viérin wrote these letters in the context of his artist-in-residency at the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres.