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P.J. van Genk (1844-1919)

Petrus ('Piet') Johannes van Genk was born in Bergen op Zoom (NB) in 1844 as the fourth son of a furniture-maker. It was an artistic family, with several members becoming artists. Like his brother C.P. van Genk had done before him, he studied architecture at the Academy of Arts in Antwerpen from 1864 until 1872. After graduating he settled as an architect in his home town before moving to Leur in 1875, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Van Genk's success is part due to his network; several members of his family belonged to the clergy and were influential in him getting assignments. In the diocese of Breda, which encompassed the western part of Noord-Brabant and the southern part of the province of Zeeland, he soon replaced P. Soffers as the most important architect of catholic churches; he built ca. 20 churches in this part of the country, but outside this diocese he had very few assignments. The style in which most of his churches were built was closely related to that of neo-Gothic churches in Belgium, based on early French Gothic and with a prominent use of natural stone. Besides designing new churches he also restored several older ones.

The following is a list of Van Genk's profane and religious work. It is incomplete. 


1872-1877 Etten (NB): church St. Lambertus



Three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style. Van Genk made a first design in 1872 which was rejected.



1877-1878 Den Hout (NB): church St. Cornelius



Three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style. Chapels added to the side-aisles in 1904.


1879 Bergen op Zoom (NB): house De Blauwen Hondt

House in neo-Baroque style. Built as a presbytery.


1881 Zundert (NB): restoration church St. Trudo

Restoration of a medieval church, with drastic changes to the interior. Church demolished in 1925.


1882 Oosterhout (NB): church H. Hart





Church in neo-Gothic style. Demolished in 1974 except for the front.


1884 De Heen (NB): church H. Maria Hemelvaart

One-aisled church in neo-Gothic style. Drastically extended in 1951.


1885-1886 Zuiddorpe (Z): church O.L. Vrouwe ten Hemelopneming

Three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style. Tower next to the front.


1885-1886 Culemborg (G): church St. Barbara




Three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style. Tower next to the front.


1888-1889 Leur (NB): church St. Petrus




Three-aisled cruciform church in neo-Gothic style. Front with two towers.


1889-1890 Klundert (NB): church St. Johannes de Doper



Three-aisled cruciform church in neo-Gothic style, with a tall tower next to the facade, mirroring the front of the church in Culemborg. Badly damaged in 1944. Tower not rebuilt but replaced by a neo-Romanesque facade in 1946-1947.


Ca. 1890 Hulst (Z): restoration church St. Willibrordus

Repairs to the transept and choir, started by architect P. Soffers.


1892-1893 Hengstdijk (Z): church St. Catharina




One-aisled cruciform church in neo-Gothic style.


1892-1893 Breda (NB): chapel Elisabeth Gasthuis



Chapel for a hospital.


1894-1895 Yerseke (Z): church St. Anna





One-aisled church in neo-Romanesque style.


1895 Riel (NB): church St. Antonius Abt





Cruciform church in neo-Gothic style. Transept added by J.H.H. van Groenendael in 1935.


1897 Ossendrecht (NB): church St. Gertrudis

Cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style.


1897 Sas van Gent (Z): Franciscan convent

Convent with school.


1897-1898 Breda (NB): facade Elisabeth Gasthuis

New facade for a hospital.


1900 Breda (NB): church H. Hart




Three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style. Front generally similar to the church in Klundert. Initialy only the front and the nave were built. The transept and the choir were added in 1929-1931 and were designed by J. Stuyt.


1901-1902 Kwadendamme (Z): church St. Bonifatius

One-aisled cruciform church in neo-Gothic style.


1903-1904 Wagenberg (NB): church St. Gummarus




Big three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style.

1908 Etten (NB): chapel St. Joseph

Big single-aisled cruciform chapel in Neo-Gothic style, built as part of a convent. Van Genk's last known assignment.
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