Lucien Kroll



The Belgian architect and activist passed away on 2 August, at the age of 95. Born in Brussels in 1927, Kroll studied at the Faculté d’Architecture La Cambre at a time influenced by functionalism, and this explains why, after graduating in 1951, Kroll wanted to meet some of the great figures of modernity, like Auguste Perret, Gio Ponti, and Le Corbusier. However, this connection with what at that time was ‘mainstream’ architecture lasted until he met his lifelong partner, Simone Pelosse, disciple of Bachelard and Leroi-Gourhan, and at the time an activist in the preservation of neighborhoods. Without this relationship it wouldn’t have been possible to explain the project, partly humanist and partly libertarian, of taking the future users into account during the creative process, and of introducing the ecology of the project as well as of mistrusting the ego of architects. The best works of Kroll, such as La Mémé housing in Louvain, reflect how fruitful his visions were, although the arrival of postmodernity drove him to an elegant silence from which he was rescued, at the end, by those who saw in him the precursor of contemporary participation and sustainability.

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