Humbble
a heterogeneous role
Gent, BE

Humbble is about enabling interaction. Their goal is to proactively engage in and contribute to a qualitative baukultur by building poetic architectural design, concept development and strategic spatial transformations. Humbble is an independent explorative architecture lab based in Gent, headed by Wim Vandendriessche Philippe Morel.

Humbble?

As an architect you might not always have the (political) power to impose a decision, nor might you have the money to execute the idea in its purest form. Being “humbble” has everything to do with a deep understanding of this dynamic. A good architect is in our view a humble architect, who’s always on the lookout to connect as many dots as possible, guide the change and add something unexpected. We’re focused on deliberately working within complexity, on making something that has value and that can take on different uses through time. The metaphor of the hubble-telescope gives us hope and power to proceed our aspirations.  

Towards a high quality Baukultur

We founded our studio in 2019 to promote, advocate and contribute to a high quality Baukultur. In our laboratory, on one hand, we develop case studies that focus on the poetic experimenting with typologies, building methods and materiality. These projects generate meaningful heterogeneous knowledge. In our studio, on the other hand, we focus on developing this knowledge into socially relevant spatial research themes in which our projects are framed. At this moment we actively focus on strengthening and establishing mixed civic centers that provide identity, social cohesion and are ‘ready’ for an unknown future use. Our laboratory and our studio always overlap.

BKLTR, a hub for Baukultur partnerships

Our office environment is a gathering space to work on establishing a high quality Baukultur. This goal is de facto not only ours and we try to share the values with as many people as possible. Therefore, we named our office space BKLTR and deliberately sought an oversized location for the scale of our team. In the center there is a large circle, filled with tropical plants and lounge chairs that can host micro-events in which the relation of the speaker towards Baukultur is investigated and shared with a curated audience. Our office is in that sense open-source and a physical expression of our view on collaboration. 

humbble as a BKLTR-resident

In BKLTR we have a humbble-corner where our team works; a project table where we can invite other offices with whom we work together on competitions or projects. There is also a library-space/coffee corner, a very large knowledge archive/exhibition rack and behind this rack, a strategy room for research, science, art and desperation. Using the studio space as a tool for different forms of collaboration frees ourselves from settling for mere production.

Celebrating the very heterogeneous role of ‘the architect’

We don’t believe you should settle for just one ‘job description’. We approach the first ‘founding years’ as an extensive roadmap towards different architectural positions; being at one moment the designer of the building, at another a design challenger in an international competition, tutoring architectural design, writing essays or organising drawing classes etc. We try to impact our surroundings as much as possible, without starting from a clear future position that we are aiming. We believe in the power of uncertainty and use it as a nimble force to go beyond what is expected (or what we expect for that matter).

Open call to interact through architecture

To establish our laboratory the way we envisioned, we needed strong and visionary clients who wanted to go the unexpected mile. As for us, this is not a passive attitude. We are in a constant state of dialogue with people from different angles and positions who, themselves, want to make contributions towards a higher quality of our built environment. We are constantly developing as architects, not so much as an expert or author who wants to control the maximum share of the assignment, but rather as someone who has particularly interesting tools to mediate between people in a productive way. We are essentially always looking for strategic partners/collaborations.

office picture Philippe morel

05 1 Philippe morel

03 1 Philippe morel

02 3 Philippe morel

03 3 Philippe morel

Photography Courtesy of humbble






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