Architects' houses in Ukkel (1890-1970)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The personal house of an architect often reveals the architectural and aesthetic position of its designer, as he is not restricted by the desiderata of an external client. For this unique condition, the architect’s house as a particular housing type is recently gaining attention in Brussels. The Brussels Faculty of Engineering of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel started its first research on the topic in 2016, through the master thesis of Linsy Raaffels. By pursuing her research through a PhD, which is still ongoing, Raaffels was able to identify 325 architects’ houses in the Brussels Capital Region. This exhaustive register on architects’ houses was the first to be established for the Region. Due to the scope of the subject, the faculty continues to stimulate new research. This master thesis research on architects’ houses in Ukkel originated in this context. The specific decision to investigate Ukkel was taken as a result to the vast housing stock on architects’ houses present in this municipality.

The first objective of the research consisted in the establishment of a register on architects’ houses in Ukkel. The final register of 42 houses includes, for one part, cases detected by Raaffels that were verified, and, for another part, newly identified cases. In a second part of the research, the housing stock on architects’ houses was analysed on several criteria which allowed to categorize the houses and make deductions. The geographical analysis allowed to comprehend the distribution of houses in the municipality which appeared to be connected with the building typology and the presence of an architecture studio. The third objective was to document a selected number of houses on their current heritage value. Based on a number of criteria, four residences were picked out to be studied: the personal houses of Pierre Humblet (1961, de Foestraetslaan 63) and Robert Puttemans (1929, Camille Lemonnierstraat 112) and the apartments of Josse Franssen (1952, Coghenlaan 244) and Simone Guillissen Hoa (1962, Langeveldstraat 21). Investigation fiches were established for each of them, researching for one part their situation in the architect’s total oeuvre and specific oeuvre in Ukkel, and for another part the volumetry, spatial layout and materiality of the original building. Besides, the evolution of the building until today was outlined, allowing, by comparison, to assess the building on its current architectural value. This in-depth analysis can support future valorisation projects for, eventually, preserving the houses.
Date of AwardSep 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Université libre de Bruxelles
SupervisorIne Wouters (Promotor) & Linsy Raaffels (Advisor)


  • architect’s house
  • Ukkel
  • Josse Franssen
  • Simone Guillissen Hoa
  • Pierre Humblet
  • Robert Puttemans
  • Construction History

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