Few Belgian architects leave such an impressive and diverse oeuvre as Léon Stynen. For over 50 years, he worked as an architect, urban planner and designer. Stynen took on projects throughout the country, with a passionate preference for his hometown Antwerp.
Léon Stynen is celebrated the whole year under the name of "Stynen2018", an initiative by Flanders Architecture Institute that puts the spotlight on Stynen with exhibitions, lectures, tours and more. Delen Private Bank - principal partner of Biennale Interieur once again - honours this great architect with an exhibiton at Kortrijk Xpo. Since its foundation in 1936, the bank has been fully committed to art, interiors and design. Anne-Sophie Delen (pictured with her mother Mrs. Marie-Alix Delen), responsible for marketing and communication, explains where that passion and engagement come from.
What is Delen Private Bank’s story at this year’s Biennale?
"We are staging an exhibition on Léon Stynen, on the occasion of #Stynen18. Perhaps the name Léon Stynen is not immediately familiar, but I'm sure everyone knows at least one of his works. The BP building and deSingel in Antwerp, or the casinos in Ostend and Knokke. All of them are prime examples of modernism in Belgium. Our Biennale exhibition will present drawings, photographs and scale models of some of his works. We will also show the connection between Delen Private Bank and the architect, and with Belgian architectural heritage in general.”
Where does this link with Léon Stynen come from?
"First of all, his BP building is our temporary home during the renovation of our head office on the Jan Van Rijswijklaan in Antwerp. Not only was Léon Stynen an architect and designer, he was also the founder of architecture education in Antwerp and an important promoter of modern architecture. We recognise ourselves in his search and support for young talent. We also share his drive to protect, develop and acknowledge Belgian architectural patrimony. We are proud to honour him during this Stynen year.”
Why is Delen Private Bank so involved with art, design and interior?
"I feel that it's our mission, that this is part and parcel of who we are. It's in our genes, really. It was my mother who started decorating our offices in a cosy and homely way, which immediately put our colleagues and clients at ease. For a few years now, together with my mother, I have been responsible for the interior design. We are attuned to each other and form a good team. My mother taught me that beauty and art are imperishable, always a valuable inspiration.
In the meantime, our "Delen touch" has become part of our DNA: using vintage design pieces, we create a homely and eclectic atmosphere complementing the abstract art collection of the Bank. Thanks to driving force Philip De Ferm, the bank also protects and promotes abstract Belgian art. Belgium is full of artistic talent and their works are part of our common heritage. They deserve protection and recognition. In a time where hypes and fashions are capricious and short-lived, we vouch for continuity, security and acknowledgment with a fresh, open outlook towards the future.”