Alfons Hoppenbrouwers was a Brother of the Christian Schools. As an Architectural Engineer, he was a professor and later General Director of the LUCA Institute (Sint-Lucas-Instituut) in Brussels-Schaarbeek.
Within the spirit of our Institute, first he obtained a diploma in Pedagogy. Later he studied at our LUCA School of Art in Ghent. From there he moved to the Catholic University of Leuven, where he graduated as an Architectural Engineer. Then he also obtained the diploma of Urban Planner in Ghent.
In 1957, he founded the Art School in Schaerbeek and starting that year, he taught at the architect school in Schaerbeek. Thanks in part to his didactic qualities and to his view on architecture and the society, he established contact with several Flemish architects. Among others, there was the famous Flemish Architect Peter Swinnen who saw a great teacher in Br. Alfons. In 1980, he became Director of the institution and founded the Urban Planning Department. The Sint-Lucas Archives were established by him in 1971, to which he remained bound until his death.
In the works of Br. Alfons Hoppenbrouwers it is possible to observe the influence from Constructivism and Modernism (De Stijl and Le Corbusier). Some place his work within the framework of “Brutalism”, because of his use of construction elements such as bare concrete. His works and designs responded mainly to the requests of those who asked for his help. Important examples are therefore schools, cultural centers, churches, condominiums, as well as a few private homes. Some examples: Philip Neri Middle School in Houthalen, The Dommelhof Sports and Cultural Center in Neerpelt, The Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Altijddurende Bijstand) Parish Church in Deurne near Antwerpen, The Westrand Culture Center in Dilbeek, near Brussels… Many scholars think that Belgian modern architecture cannot be understood without taking into account the contribution of Br. Alfons Hoppenbrouwers.
After he retired, he produced an impressive number of paintings, acknowledged as “geometrical abstract art”. He was able to transform the laws and formulas into paintings. The Brothers of the Christian Schools in Belgium have signed a contract to donate a large collection of Br. Alfons’ paintings to the Museum of Modern Art (M HKA) of Antwerp (Belgium). Some of his paintings have been reserved and will be offered to the Lasallian Universities upon their request.
From 19 February to 5 May, this Museum offers an exhibition of some of Br. Alfons’ best paintings. To learn more: