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A Gloriously Failed Experiment

On March 24th 1954, the architect Léon Palm gave a seminal lecture at the Brussels Chamber of Commerce entitled Immoralité du gaspillage dans les constructions dites ‘A bon marché’. Palm, a young entrepreneurial builder, delivered a fundamental critique towards the ruling practices of post-war housing construction. As a provocation, the architect suggested he could build a 100m2 ‘all mod cons’ workers’ family house at less than half the market price (148.000 BF). An enlightenment he pitched as: ‘A house at the price of a FORD car!’.

BLUFF

Intrigued - with some annoyance - by Palm’s provocation, the Chamber of Commerce decided to challenge the architect, by offering him a booth at the forthcoming Coal and Steel Exhibition in Liège. Confronted with a nigh impossible time frame (the venue was to open less than a …

CECA House by WVDM, Tervuren, residency of Something Fantastic & Fernanda Tellez. (c) Antoine Espinasseau