The building as flexible structure

Freek Persyn is invited to give an open studio lecture at the studio 'The building as flexible structure' lectured by HFF founding partner Simon Frommenwiler at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. As part of the semester topic on urban transformation, (re)densification and the idea of flexible buildings, he will talk about open systems that serve as platforms for encounter and exchange.

Thu, 16/10/2014
Long Lounge, MIT, Boston
Atelier Albania

During a visit of the Albanian delegation in Harvard Freek Persyn together with Atelier Albania and IABR took part in a workshop on Urban Development and Planning organised by the Center for International Development at Harvard University.

Tue, 14/10/2014
Harvard University, Cambridge
HHF Open Art Talk

As part of their exhibition program HHF architects invited Freek Persyn to an 'Open Art Talk' about their projects in the Architekturgalerie München. Other invited guests are Matthieu Wellner and Johannes Ernst of Steidle Architekten.

Fri, 12/09/2014 - 19:00
Munich, GER
AGORA 2014

51N4E is present in the main exhibition of AGORA 2014, Biennale of Architecture, Urbanism and Design, which will take place 11-14 of September in Bordeaux. For this year's edition, the curator, French-Lebanese architect Youssef Tohme, addresses the guiding influence of culture, economy and politics on public space. Inside Outside (Petra Blaisse) has developed a scenography for the exhibition that supports the curatorial content. In Hangar 14, the beating heart of the Biennale, Youssef Tohme will show varied conditions through films and interviews made by french journalist Karine Dana. Freek Persyn of 51N4E will feature alongside Rem Koolhaas, Yoshi Tsukamato (atelier Bow-Wow), Youssef Tohme, Herman Hertzberger, Lacaton & Vassal, Kersten Geers (KGDVS), Yona Friedman, Tatiana Bilbao, Pier Vittorio Aureli (Dogma), Italo Rota, Michel Desvignes, Bruno Fortier, Francis Kéré, Olivier Brochet, Marc Barani, and Dominique Perrault, to mention only architects.

Thu, 11/09/2014 - Sun, 14/09/2014
Bordeaux, FR

Blueprint was the title of a DIY exhibition conceived in 1998 at Spark, a small gallery above a Burger King in Chelsea, in New York. All the artists in the show made a single blueprint of one of their works. The show was a send-up of high-concept exhibitions: the only connections between the works on view were their connection to the curators, the material used, and the color of the work. Sixteen years later, Sebastiaan, with co-curators and artists/architects Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, propose a contemporary re-imagining of the original show. This exhibition, unlike its predecessor, also includes work by both artists and architects, taking the blueprint as the perfect vehicle for blurring the boundaries between these two disciplines.

Sat, 21/06/2014 - Sun, 21/09/2014
Tucson, Arizona, US
World Urbanisms

The thesis studio “Shared Infrastructure”, a collaboration of 51N4E and the Catholic University of Leuven, with focus on the central region of Tirana-Durres (Albania) has concluded. The final presentation will happen in the framework of the 2-day World Urbanisms Seminar in KUL. Thesis students: Wouter Haspeslagh, Alaleh Kouhkan, Thomas Lenaerts, Mieke Nagels, Ellen Verbiest/ tutor: Sotiria Kornaropoulou

Tue, 24/06/2014 - Wed, 25/06/2014
Arenberg Castle, Leuven, BE

Jan Opdekamp of 51N4E will lecture at the 16th Asian Congress of Architects, DATUM:KL in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This series of lectures, on the theme 'Rejuvenation', is held in conjunction with the prominent International Architecture, Interior Design & Building Exhibition, Archidex.

Uncovering the principles and themes behind several projects of the office, local architect and Berlage alumni Nazmi Anuar will react and exchange on their potential impact on the local context during the presentation.

Fri, 27/06/2014 - Sat, 28/06/2014
Kuala Lumpur
Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price, a stroll through a fun palace

At the Venice Biennale, Freek Persyn will take part in a round table discussion at the Swiss Pavilion together with Edi Rama and Anri Sala, lead by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Thu, 05/06/2014 - 14:00
La Biennale di Venezia, Swiss Pavilion
Alzette Belval

The territorial project Alzette-Belval will organize its first public encounter at the city hall of Villerupt, France. During a two day event of micro-sessions and urban games, the population of both sides of the Franco-Luxemburg border will be invited to share their knowledge and aspirations about this awakening 'metropole transfrontalière'.

Fri, 13/06/2014 - Sat, 14/06/2014

51N4E will feature with various projects in the upcoming International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam, all closely related to the question how to transform urban landscapes. The first project is a follow-up of the previous Biennale contribution, Test Site Istanbul, together with H+N+S landscape architects. After two years of project development, the pilot project set up in Beykoz, a river commune along the Riva River in Istanbul, will be shown through an animated model. The second contribution consists of a collaboration with Silvia Fattore and PioveneFabi. The project looks closely at the Veneto region, combining drone images, drawings and voices to reveal some hidden aspects of this Unconscious Metropolis. The third contribution is part of a research project set up by the curator of the Biennale, Dirk Sijmons. He proposes a new taxation system, Carbon Added Tax. Based on this premise, Freek Persyn of 51N4E has guided a studio at the Berlage, in which a group of international students has developed future scenario's based on this hypothetical reality.

Potential Monuments of Unrealised Futures

In line with the Venise Biennale theme ‘Fundamentals — Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014’, the Pavilion ‘Potential Monuments of Unrealised Futures’ suggests a new interpretation of the interrupted paths of modernity in Albania. By presenting the work of two artists, Edi Hila and Adrian Paci, the exhibition questions architectural conventions and puts the notion of potentiality at the very core of the architectural discourse. Parallel to the work of the two artists, the pavilion will show an interview with Johan Anrys, talking about the recently established Atelier Albania, which addresses the same issue of liberating the inner potential of reality.

Picture: Adrian Paci, The Column, 2013. Video 25’40’’. Courtesy the artist, Kaufmann Repetto, and Galerie Peter Kilchmann

Wienerberger Brick Award 14

The BUDA factory has won the prestigious Wienerberger Brick Award 14, in the category Re-Use. The project was selected out of a pool of more than 300 innovative brick architectures from all over the world. The jury mentioned the quality of the project as 'creating harmony and tension at the same time', applauding the project for combining intelligence and sensitivity.

Metropolitan Landscapes

Recently, Freek Persyn together with Eric Corijn have been appointed as external experts for the ‘research by design’ trajectory Metropolitan Landscapes. This research is a joint initiative by the Team Vlaams Bouwmeester, Ruimte Vlaanderen, the Vlaamse Landmaatschappij, the team of the Brussels Bouwmeester, and the ministery of Urban Planning and housing of the Brussels Capital Region. The research will be conducted by the design offices Bureau Bas Smets and LIST.

De Lork

51N4E is proud to announce the official opening of de Lork, a new permanent home with 30 studios for disabled people. The building hosts 3 small communities and is located in the dense urban fabric of Sint-Gilles, Brussels. The residents will move to their new home mid June.


The construction of 51N4E’s Regatta project, an elderly campus in Antwerp, will start with a first stone laying ceremony.

Tue, 13/05/2014 - 11:00
Blancefloerlaan 181, Antwerp

51N4E, in collaboration with AWB, is appointed to draft a concept for possible future developments on Rechteroever, a central and popular district of Aalst bordering the old industrial corridor through the city. During the coming months, different options will be developed through research by design and cross-examined in a series of atelier sessions with experts, policy makers and citizens.

Résidence Palaiseau

On Tuesday 27th march, 51N4E and Bourbouze-Graindorge have delivered the building permit of Résidence Palaiseau. The building houses 330 student accommodations and additional amenities in Paris-Saclay. The delivery of the constructions documents is planned for the middle of June.


51N4E has been appointed by AG Real Estate and Vooruitzicht as one of 3 architects to redevelop the Be-Post site in the North quarter of Brussels. The site is strategically located between the Canal and the Parc Maximilien, on the axis stretching from the North Station to Turn & Taxis. The project will host in total 28.000 m² of mainly residential program.

Testplanung Thurgauerstrasse West, Zurich

51N4E has been appointed by the city of Zürich for a 'research by design' trajectory for a large stretch of land between the railway tracks and the Thurgauerstrasse. 51N4E has teamed up with the landscape design office Rotzler Krebs Partner and will be assisted by Klaus Zweibrücken for mobility and Steff Fischer together with Intosens for the programming and use.

Launch Atelier Albania

The prime minister of Albania Edi Rama and the minister of Urban Development and Tourism Eglantina Gjermini are officially kicking off Atelier Albania. This platform, proposed and developed by 51N4E and the IABR, is set up by the new Albanian government, in careful conjunction with all other policies they adopt to develop the country, under the aegis of the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism. Atelier Albania deploys an unusual, i.e. a design based method to foster urban development as an incubator for national development. The kick-off ceremony is set up as a network event bringing together around 250 future stakeholders; Other ministries, local municipalities, foreign aid and development organizations and local and international experts are invited to adopt and reflect upon this method as a new common ground.

Thu, 20/02/2014
Sheraton Hotel, Tirana (AL)
Peter Swinnen to follow independent trajectory

51N4E and Peter Swinnen announced today that Peter Swinnen will be leaving the firm as a partner. As a founding partner Peter Swinnen has contributed in a profound manner to the work and legacy of 51N4E, which in 15 years’ time has established itself as an office voluntarily linking the impact of design intelligence and governance intelligence.

Johan Anrys and Freek Persyn will continue to head 51N4E as leading senior partners. The firm's evolving engagement in Europe has recently expanded to Switzerland and Turkey with new projects ranging from strategy to implementation. Peter Swinnen, Freek Persyn and Johan Anrys are looking forward to exchange knowledge and share critical insights as professional independent peers. More in depth insights about the motivation behind this mutual and future oriented decision can be found in the interview with Prof. André Loeckx in A+ architecture magazine, to appear on February 19.

Shared Infrastructure studio/ KUL

The spring semester studio in the Catholic University of Leuven just started. Five master students of Urbanism and Strategic Planning will do their final project on the themes of mobility infrastructure and public space, with the region of Tirana-Durres as testing ground. The studio is guided by 51N4E in collaboration with Lowie Vermeersch/ granstudio.

Carbon Added Tax studio/ the Berlage

The Berlage presents an exhibition containing select material from the thesis projects completed during the 2013 fall term under the theme of Carbon Added Tax. During this term, the theme proposed by Dirk Sijmons of HNS was developed and guided by Freek Persyn of 51N4E as part of a three step investigation on the spatial and social implications of this newly proposed taxation system. Later this year, the material will be restaged in the upcoming Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam.

Thu, 30/01/2014 - Fri, 14/02/2014
Nieuw Zuid

51N4E is invited for a competition for a mixed use tower which is part of Nieuw Zuid, a new development in the south of Antwerp.

Alzette Belval

The team of 51N4E, 2001, SCE and Franck Boutté Consultants is selected for long term contract of urban study for the territory of Alzette-Belval, in north Lorraine, France, in proximity to the border with Luxembourg. The territory is characterised by it history of mines and steel industry, and its current investigation of a new definition is labelled as a National Interest Operation (OIN), a particular juridical status given to urbanistic projects of major importance.

Uncanny Living

Johan Anrys will give a lecture on 'Uncanny Living' at the Contract Square Congress within the framework of Heimtextil 2014. For the sixth time, AIT/GKT and Heimtextil are inviting architects, interior decorators, exhibitors and visitors to a three-day presentation series focused on hotels and living. The events will be moderated by Berlin-based architecture theorist Andreas Ruby.

Fri, 10/01/2014
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Desaix – Lyon Part Dieu

The joint entry of Christian de Portzamparc, Clement Vergely Architects and 51N4E has won the competition for the development of a 22.000m² mixed program within the Lyon Part Dieu masterplan (l’AUC). The project will develop a divers series of housing typologies connected with an urban roofscape.
Client: Bouygues Immobilier, OPAC du Rhône, Ville de Lyon