Lucien Kroll has died at the age of 95. A critic of the excesses of modern functionalism and the author of participatory projects like the Mémé housing complex at the University of Louvain, the Belgian architect defended the idea of architecture built not so much "for" as "with" people.
He said he only went against the grain as far as architects went, that it was really they who were against everyone. Critical of the modern postulates, a staunch ecologist and dreamer, Lucien Kroll always resisted authorship and authority in his projects. The Brussels native who died last 2 August would invite the users of his buildings to actively take part in the creative process. This resulted in vibrant, unpredictable collages like La MéMé student complex for the medical faculty at the Catholic University of Louvain, which he built in the 1970s with the future residents themselves. With the libertarian spirit of France’s May 1968 cooled down, Kroll’s participatory architecture seemed to have lost ground, but he remained faithful to the humble resolution never to take for granted what people need.