Luc Deleu


Luc Deleu (1944) breaks with traditional approaches to architectures that are generally founded on economic considerations, and develops unconventional, provocative ideas and designs. He has been developing his urban design study ‘The Unadapted City’ since 1995.

Luc Deleu graduated in 1969 from the Hoger Architectureinstituut Sint Lucas in Brussels with a degree in architecture. In 1970, he founds a firm of architects called TOP Office (Torn On Planning) which is dedicated to urban planning and architecture.

Deleu breaks with traditional approaches to architecture that are generally motivated by architectural considerations and develops unconventional, provocative ideas and designs. His concepts underline the ethical facet of architecture. Since founding his bureau TOP Office, Deleu has focused on extending the conventional parameters of urban planning; his concept is known as ‘orbanism’, and presents an urbanisation able to function on a global scale. In Deleu’s vision, architecture is a tool enabling the limited space of the planet to be better organised, better utilised and more comfortable. His concept always proceeds from the premise of the individual: living in a pleasant environment and the freedom of the individual are his primary concerns.

Deleu and his firm have been developing ‘The Unadapted City’, a study into urban development, since 1995. Based on a calculation of the required amenities and urban functions, the bureau has arrived at an unadapted spatial organisation approach. Buildings can be separated from their function. For instance, there are more than enough cinemas, but they can also used as a sports hall or mushroom farm. ‘The Unadapted City’ evolves in successive phases. After the previously designed districts “Brikabrak” (1998), “Dinkytown” (1998-99) and “Octopus” (1999), “VipCity” is the fourth step: a large development with a spine length of 7.5 km for 38,000 inhabitants in detached houses.

Deleu has built a number of dwellings in the Netherlands including Hotel Stok (1992), a private home in Poortugaal near Rotterdam. The Three Generation Home is also being built here, based on one of his designs. In Tervuren, Belgium, he designed the Red House. Deleu has been involved with devising alternative uses for the Hefbrug in Rotterdam, in anticipation of the railway tunnel that will be built below Rotterdam’s River Maas.


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