2_3_DiscoverBenelux_Issue14_January2015_Scan Magazine 1 26/01/2015 19:19 Page 56
Discover Benelux | Feature | Brussels’ Art Deco
Revealing the gems of Brussels’ Art Deco Brussels was at the heart of the development of the 1920s architectural style of Art Deco. Elevated by the surge in construction post-World War I, refined examples of Art Deco sprang up all over the city, even transcending social differences. TEXT: CéCILE DUBOIS | PHOTOS: SOPHIE VOITURON
that required reconstruction – luckily not the case with Brussels – but four lost years of production that had to be caught up on. As the population increased, numerous developments sprung up in new quarters of the capital. The city centre, already densely packed, experienced a surge in service growth, with old buildings being modernised and new ones constructed.
After the First World War, Brussels’ Art Nouveau architecture was followed on the heels by Art Deco. The former, a reaction to earlier Academicism, was inspired by natural forms, and born in Brussels earlier in 1893 in the projects of Victor Horta and Paul Hankar. The decorative aspect of Art Nouveau started to evolve into more geometric compositions, leaning towards abstraction, and progressively into more sober compositions: the Art Deco. This term first appeared at the Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925, and is linked to architecture as well as interior decoration, and touches all social milieux.
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The rise of Art Deco In Belgium, the interwar years saw an enormous increase in construction activity. It was not only the devastated regions
The Art Deco was Brussels was at a crossroads of influences including the Viennese group, French Art Deco, the Amsterdam School, English regionalism... Over and above these influences, the Brussels practitioners developed works that were very personal and varied.
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.