Section Liège-Belgique

Dominique DETHIER

First name : DOMINIQUE
Place of birth : Herve (Bruyère-Battice)
Born on : 2 February 1959
Education : he studied architecture at Saint-Luc (Liège)


Dominique Dethier doesn't intend to hand on a message but he wants to give something personal to his client and to make use of his own abilities. The building must be appropiate tothe inhabitants'main choices and the architect only chooses materials which are suitable to the style defined during the previous meetings.
Eleven trade associations (masons-makers of windows...) and many other people (house-decorators, lighting technicians, house-painters, garden-architects...) take part in the building of the house.
These houses are mainly habitations but they tend to become particular works as a result of the co-ordination and of the unity achieved by the architect. This is why delicacy of execution and regard for details are so important.
Dominique Dethier is very proud when he has made a beautiful house but he is only satisfied when he sees happy people living in the building.

Art is fundamental in this work because, when the architect builds up an habitation, he also gives utterance to his own sensibility and asks many associations to take part in the project. The skills and the professional know-how of all these people contribute to the quality of the whole. To be at the top in art you have to give all you have and, in this meaning, a cook can also be an artist.


Dominique is member of an architect association. So, he has to use computers and this involves important investments.
However, he likes pointing out that when he began his career, he only needed a good pencil, a few pieces of corrugated cardboard, a few reams of paper, and some glue " Pattex " -the best one- to start a work.

A plan for a building can be worked out within two weeks but this can also ask many years. Ideas come from the above mentionned analysis, the observation of our environment and of what has been created.

The different steps are:

-the preliminary plan
-the building licence
-the plan
-the quotation
-the building site

Computers are required to create the plan but not for the general conception of the whole. The architect works on demand for private people who need a house, for manufacturers who want to enlarge their buildings, and for people who want to refit their house or ask him to work out an equipment well-adapted to the architecture.

Analysis of one work:

At first sight, this house is very restrained and seem to be a part of the surrounding nature. The architect is very much concerned with the integration of the building in the landscape. The geometrically plain and well-proportioned volumes and the use of concrete blocks, of which the grey colour changes with the seasons, let us see the interior of the house.
The house was built as a Greec cross: the middle part is the most important part in the house and it extends to the angles with " alveoles " to which the members of the family can retire and read, work or play.
As the ground is situated quite near the street, a cylindrical low wall was built along the terrasse to preserve the intimacy of the inhabitants. At the back and on the sides the house has got large bay-windows which are wide open on nature.
The centre of the house is a large open comfotable space where a staircase and a fireplace mark a subtile separation.

In this house, Dominique Dethier could conciliate the existing needs of the inhabitants (to be modified in the future if necessary) and his own architectural options: A beautiful space where life is pleasant.

Work by C. Grosjean and C. François.

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