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Free ebook ‘Dom Hans van der Laan. A House for the Mind. A design manual on Roosenberg Abbey’

Published in 2017 with the Flanders Architecture Institute in collaboration with KU Leuven and LUCA School of Arts, this book by Caroline Voet became an immediate worldwide bestseller. In 2018, it received the 2018 DAM Architecture Book of the Year Award. Now out of print, the book is made available online for all, to continue its path as a design manual for architects, designers and within architectural education.

On the book: In 1977, the Benedictine monk and architect Dom Hans van der Laan (1904-1991) published his manifesto Architectonic Space, Fifteen Lessons on the Disposition of the Human Habitat. Seeking to capture the essence of spatial experience as a foundation for architecture, he developed a design methodology through his own proportional system of the Plastic Number. Around that same period, Dom van der Laan built Roosenberg Abbey in Waasmunster for the Marian Sisters of St. Francis. And while his theories remain fairly abstract, this building demonstrates the concrete use of proportion, materiality and light in relation to perception and movement in space. Moreover, this building is designed to guide the inhabitant into contemplation, intensity and stillness.