Jo Crepain
Anterwerpen in my mind
Ziche Alberta, January 21, 2008
Jo Crepain_Duval Guillaume
Jo Crepain_Duval Guillaume
Z.A. : I would like to discuss your use of materials, of cement, glass; what kind of a relationship do you have with materials?

J.C.: If we're talking about evolution in use of materials, think that I began my career in 1973, and so I have seen populism, post-modernism, minimalism and now there's a bit of everything, people are talking about durability.
Going back to evolution in the use of materials, in the beginning I used a lot of cement; I had learned from Herman Hertzberger and other Dutch architects.
You might call cement the stone of the 20th century: it was beautiful, economical, special. Not until about fifteen years later did we discover that the material ages rapidly and ruinously. And so we are learning from our mistakes, and now we are concerned with durability.

Jo Crepain_Eliks
Jo Crepain_Eliks
We find ourselves having to demolish buildings that are only 30 years old, and this is a waste of money, a waste of materials, a waste of time - a waste of everything.
This is why everybody now realises we must not work with materials that age so quickly and so badly. We need to use materials that age well, such as brick or natural stone that improves with the passage of time, and this is one of the themes we are focusing on; we are looking for materials that last longer, that are not so cheap, because cheap materials may seem like a good idea at first, but in the long term they turn out to be much more expensive, because it's going to cost a lot more to demolish and rebuild in 30 years than to choose a material that costs more but ages well.

Jo Crepain_Joffice
Jo Crepain_Joffice
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