Architect/Ambtenaar. De betekenis van het ambt van provinciaal architect voor de 19e-eeuwse architectuur in West-Vlaanderen.
Architect/Civil Servant. The meaning of the function of provincial architect for the 19th-century architecture in West-Flanders.
Cornilly, Jeroen; S0062627
The doctoral dissertation Architect/Public servant analyses the function of provincial architect in the province of West-Flanders for the period 1807-1914. The provincial architects were important actors for 19th-century Belgian (official) architecture. Through their designs for parish churches, presbyteries and schools they contributed substantially to the transformation and modernisation of rural villages. The research was conceived as a biography of the function, through which the relations between government, administration, public servants and architecture throughout the 19th century are analysed. At same time, it brings the public architecture in rural villages under the attention. Three lines of approach were defined and are the structuring elements of the PhD. Part I is dealing with the formal aspects of the function: a study of the institutional, political and administrative context. A clear understanding of the position in the building process the provincial architect was officially assigned is essential for the interpretation of his daily practice. On the basis of the analysis of administrative processes the practical translation of the job description is studied, together with the meaning of the daily practice of the provincial architect for the implementation of the provincial policy and the real impact of this policy. In the third part of the dissertation the provincial architect is situated within a broader social, cultural and professional context. The task to design public buildings for local authorities was the key element in the job description of the provincial architects to analyse the evolution of the function, their daily practice as well as their position within the broader professional field. The study of the administrative practice and the architectural designs of the provincial architects reveal that their work can be interpreted as a translation of a provincial line of policy. An ambition for a maximal efficiency led to a tendency to standardise and administer public architecture, a process which had important implications for the design process.