Luc Deleu & T.O.P. Office
In 1970 Luc Deleu and his wife Laurette Gillemot founded T.O.P. office, an independent studio for urbanism and architecture, in their house Les Nénuphars in the Cogels Osylei in Antwerp. The very conceptually minded T.O.P. office surprisingly introduced their architectural projects to the art circuit, a world which was significantly more receptive to the office’s ethos of freedom and experimentation than the execution-driven world of architecture. Their main goal was and still is, to intellectually expand the ways of approaching architecture and urban design by considering new – more creative – ways of joining architecture, human life and the planet in order to improve the balance between them, aiming at a more sustainable future. In 1980 their views were bundled in the Orban Planning Manifesto which, to this day, reflects T.O.P. office’s core philosophy. Orban Space, the office’s ongoing research on designing public space in a global context is becoming more and more relevant in a world which is increasingly confronted with its own limits.
Most of T.O.P. office’s projects were never realized, but a few were: the reconversion of the parental house of Panamarenko in Antwerp into patrimony and the installation of a work of art (heli-platform) on its roof (2008-2012); the remodelling of three houses in Blankenberge into a Belle Epoque exhibition centre (2004-2010); the Orbino installation and promenade walk for the Middelheim Museum (2004); designs, conversions and remodellings of private houses throughout Belgium, several temporary artistic interventions in the public space and (what Deleu considers his most poetic project) the remodelling of the FURKA dépendance (1986-1997) in the Swiss Alps, part of the legendary Furkart project.
December 2020, the book Luc Deleu & T.O.P. Office – Future Plans 1970 – 2020 was published, containing 44 contributions by artists, curators, writers, art critics …