Exhibition: LE SONGE DE TORRENTIUS by Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove Foundation

1271 Avenue of the Americas by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
May 23, 2022
Mirai House of Arches by Sanjay Puri Architects
August 1, 2022

From 21 May to 27 August 2022, the Hotel Torrentius (Liège), classified as Outstanding Heritage in the Walloon region, opens its doors to the public for the first time. This in the context of the first intramural exhibition of the Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove Foundation. The exhibition entitled, Le songe de Torrentius, not only offers a unique access to this exceptional architectural environment, but also provides an intimate insight into the work of a great name in Belgian architecture, Charles Vandenhove.

Under the curatorship of Patrick Corillon, Le songe de Torrentius emphasises the personality and artistic élan of Charles Vandenhove. This is done through his notebooks, models, prototypes, plans, publications, and so on… but also by means of a film that shows the whole of the Hotel Torrentius and that was specially produced for this exhibition by Patrick Corillon. This exceptional place, which has never before been open to the public, sheds new light on Charles Vandenhove’s working methods.

Cour César © Fondation Vandenhove

Hotel Torrentius is the ideal location for this intimate exhibition. This
important place in the work of Charles Vandenhove, the current seat of the
Foundation, once served as the offices of his studio. The spirit of his work and his passion for contemporary art is still in the walls: the
company of his books and, of course, of works by numerous Belgian and
and international artists (Sol LeWitt, Daniel Buren, etc.) with whom he has established close collaborations, team work in the studio, but also
a relationship with the past, since this was his first “renovation” of a place with a rich history.

Parallel to the exhibition there is also a walk through Liege in the footsteps of Charles Vandenhove, architect and great collector, to discover his completed and uncompleted projects (free visitor’s guide available at the Foundation).

Amphitheatre © Fondation Vandenhove
About the Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove Foundation

Jeanne Belvaux and Charles Vandenhove married in 1957.

In 1958, after the end of his ten-year collaboration with his fellow student Lucien Kroll, Charles Vandenhove decided to set up his own architecture studio. This studio would experience six decades of intense activity and creativity. In total, about a hundred architects and draftsmen worked in this office, including some well-known figures such as, Bruno Albert, Jacques Sequaris, Prudent De Wispelaere, Philippe Vander Maren…

During this extraordinary career, the couple, lovers of contemporary art, gathered a collection of more than 300 works of art. They have worked closely with artists such as Sol LeWitt, Daniel Buren, Niele Toroni, Olivier Debré, Léon Wuidar, Patrick Corillon, Jean-Pierre Pincemin…

Determined to preserve and distribute this exceptional collection, the couple set up a foundation in 2004, the “Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove Foundation”.

After an attempt to accommodate the entire collection in one place in Liège, Charles Vandenhove signed an agreement with the Bonnefantenmuseum in 2006. This was supported by its director, Alexandre van Grevenstein, and expired after ten years. During this period, numerous exhibitions were organised in a room of the museum dedicated to the collection of the Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove Foundation. At the same time, several books about Charles Vandenhove’s work were published.

Jeanne passed away in 2007.

In 2011, the Governing Board of the Foundation added aid for the poor in all its forms to the Foundation’s statutes.

In 2012, Charles Vandenhove decided to bequeath almost his entire art collection to Ghent University. Bart Verschaffel, philosopher, author and professor emeritus of the Department of Architecture and Urbanism, became the responsible. The “Pavilion Vandenhove” by Charles Vandenhove, which should house this collection and is located at the foot of Henry Van de Velde’s Book Tower, will be his last project.

Upon the death of the architect in 2019, the Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove Foundation will be established as the universal heir to the other collections and to the Torrentius Hotel, which will be the seat of the Foundation. The board of directors has six members, including the chairman, Prudent De Wispelaere,
Charles Vandenhove’s principal architect and partner, and the Secretary-General Nadia Ghizzardi, interior designer and long-time collaborator of the office, who work every day to enhance all of the collections, plans, drawings, sketches, photos (personal and professional records), furniture, models, works of art, correspondence and a library of art and architecture books.

Charles Vandenhove. Justitiepaleis van Bois-le-Duc, 1992-1998. © Foto K. Zwarts
Focus on a few exceptional achievements

1960-1965 | Liege (B):
Institut National de l’Industrie Charbonnière

1961-1963 | Liège (B):
Personal residence and workshop + extension in 1974

1962-1987 | Liège (B):
University Hospital (University of Liège – Sart-Tilman)
Artistic contributions: J-Ch. Blais / S. Lewitt / N. Toroni / A. Romus /
J. Charlier / C. Viallat / J. Delahaut / D. Buren / O. Debré / M. Wéry /
L. Wuidar

1978-1985 | Liege (B):
Hors-Château – urban renewal and social housing
Artistic contributions: A. and P. Poirier

1979-1981 | Liège (B):
Hôtel Torrentius – Renovation of a 16th century mansion
Artistic contributions: D. Buren / O. Debré / L. Wuidar

1984-1986 | Brussels (B):
Royal Salon of the Monnaie Theatre
Artistic contributions: D. Buren / G. Paolini et S. LeWitt / S. Francis
(Interior design of the corridor)

1986-1996 | Paris (F):
Les Abbesses – City Theatre (400 seats), dance school, residences and shops
Artistic contributions: D. Buren / R. Barry / J-Ch. Blais / L. Le
Groumellec / P. Corillon / O. Debré

1987-1993 | Paris (F):
Crèche (80 cots) and homes
Artistic contributions: R. Combas / A. Kuroda / L. Wuidar

1988-1998 | Maasticht (NL):
Project Staarzaal – 25 dwellings around a public square
Artistic contributions: L. Wuidar / J-P. Pincemin

1988-1995 | Liège (B):
Le Balloir – Rest home/children’s daycare centre

Construction of a residential block – Development of a public square
Artistic contributions: R. Combas / P. Corillon / L. Le Groumellec / J-.
P. Pincemin

1990-1991 | The Hague (NL):
Royal Theatre – renovation of the entrance hall and ticket sales outside
Artistic contributions: S. Lewitt

1997-1999 | The Hague (NL):
Royal Theatre – integral renovation
Artistic contributions: J-P. Pincemin

1992-1998 | s’Hertogenbosch (NL):
New Courthouse
Artistic contributions: R. Birza / I. Dibbets / M. Dumas / L. Gerdes /
H. Jacobs / W. Oorebeek / G. Paolini / L. Tuymans / J. Wall

1999-2000 | Liege (B):
Bonne Fortune – Restoration of an 18th-century hotel into a private residence
Artistic contributions: P. Corillon / D. Buren / S. Lewitt / J-P.
Pincemin / S. Ristelhueber / M. Palladino

2000-2004 | Ridderkerk (NL):
Town hall and cultural centre
Artistic contributions: L. Tuymans / P. Corillon / L. Wuidar / J-P.
Pincemin and the reproductions of the works of Piranèse and

2003-2010 | Maastricht (NL):
Ceramics House – residential complex

2010-2014 | Liège (B):
Terraces of Saint-Gilles – complex with 35 residences

2011-2014 | Liège (B):
Reconstruction of the house Sans Logis

2012-2017 | Ghent (B):
Pavilion Vandenhove

Practical information

Exhibition dates: 21 May > 27 August 2022
Press visit: Friday 20 May 2022
Opening hours
Thursday & Friday: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Group visits limited to 12 people
Make an appointment at: www.fondationvandenhove.be
The building is not adapted for people with reduced mobility.
The building is not adapted for people with reduced mobility.
Free entry
15, rue Saint-Pierre
4000 Liege
The publication
The publication accompanying the exhibition
Le songe de Torrentius
Number of pages: 60
Price: 25 €
Language: FR

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