This issue of a+u features 18 projects, ranging from private residences to urban plazas, by architect Marie-José Van Hee, whose practice is based in Ghent, Belgium.
Guest editor Hera Van Sande notes how Van Hee’s buildings “blend in with their environment as if they have always been there” and her “architectural spaces evoke repose, reflection, serenity, silence.” Working almost entirely in Flanders, Van Hee creates architectural works that are intensely personal, as an extension of her aesthetic passion which also encompasses cooking, literature, and fashion. The projects presented here all begin with an aerial photograph of the broader site context alongside Van Hee’s sketches. These sketches, or "black drawings", are layers of pencil lines drawn on top of each other. They communicate the architectural images that Van Hee visualises as “her hand mediates between the mental images and the spatial projections on a sheet of paper” and “negotiate between her imagination and the constrictions of our physical world while she juggles different scales simultaneously,” as described in the introduction by Sam De Vocht.