Sum — Sounds for the Future

50 years of making


The 50th anniversary of our group has been a perfect momentum to reflect on our identity and specificity. As a part of this reflection we invited Petra Fieuws and Simon Casier, two Brussels based artists and graphic designers, to express their perception on our work and on our team. Petra and Simon were quite impressed by the multitude and the wide range of projects and studies our team has been working on as well as by the broad societal relevance of the works. After several meetings and discussions they surprised us with their proposal: a simple though impressive ‘leporello’ presenting the inventory of ‘50 years of making’. This work of graphic art aims to be a selective synthesis of what has been studied, planned and designed by our team over 50 years, in parallel with the key historical milestones of the evolution of our world. The reference picture with the ‘two ladies sitting between cars’ by Herman Hertzberger stands for our constant ambition for a better living environment which, by essence, is present in all our projects and studies. This ‘leporello’ is printed in a limited edition of 150 copies on Munken Polar 170 gr by Graphius Group and hand-finished by Ryhove.


Today, fifty years after its start, the SUM of disciplines is still at the heart of our activity. Key in the work of SUM is the intertwining of architectural creation, urban development and planning supported by a keen knowledge and research into societal needs. Precisely this combination defines the adequacy and value of the solutions proposed. In 1966, four eager youngsters, architects and engineers, started a new challenge. Right from the beginning the ambition of Jan Tanghe, Jacques Pêtre, Ignaas Deboutte and Willy Canfyn was to innovate the approach to architecture and planning by creating the first interdisciplinary group of architects, engineers and urban planners in Belgium. Groep Planning was born. By continuously transcending the classic structure of an architectural practice, Groep Planning developed a global vision on our urban and living environment. The interdisciplinary character was enlarged in 1995 with the acquisition of ‘Mens & Ruimte’ (M+R), extending the team with expertise in energy, environment, mobility, planning, and sociological and economic analysis and research. In 2006 the group was rebranded into Sum. Today SumProject is developing context based architecture with special sensitivity towards restoration and re-use of existing built environments combined with smart contemporary architecture. SumResearch specializes in master planning, research by design, urban consultancy as well as strategic regional and local policy advice for both the public and the private sector.