Marcel Smets

In 2005, Marcel Smets succeeded Bob van Reeth as Flemish government architect. Smets studied architecture at Ghent University and urbanism at the TU in Delft. He later obtained his doctorate in applied sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain (KUL) and initiated the Project Team City Design there, which was concerned with the restructuring of derelict industrial areas and dock and railway yards. Smets was chief designer in the transformation of the station district in Louvain and has designed urbanistic schemes for Antwerp, Rouen and Genoa. In all his work, Smets is above all concerned with the impact of infrastructure on the landscape and he advocates doing away with the ‘false distinction between architecture and heritage’. Some building projects should be viewed as future heritage and conversely existing architecture must acquire a new significance in contemporary projects.