Discover Benelux | Belgium | Hotel & Art Gallery of the Month
HOTEL OF THE MONTH, BELGIUM
TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER | PHOTOS: CROWNE PLAZA BRUSSELS
Bridging Art Nouveau with modernity in style and luxury Built in 1908 and fully renovated in 2008, the Crowne Plaza Brussels is a jewel of architecture in its own right. Housed in a historical building in a typical Art Nouveau style, the hotel makes the perfect location to soak up the ambiance of a joyful turn-of-thecentury Brussels. What makes the Crowne Plaza Brussels particularly attractive and ideal for a stay in the Belgian capital is its central location, excellent customer service and unique architecture. One of the first Palaces to exist in Europe with 500
rooms, each equipped with its own private bathroom (a rarity at the time), it was already renowned for its comfort and unique style. Entirely renovated less than a decade ago, the team of architects inspired themselves from the work of famous Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, a leading figure of the Art Nouveau movement. It was in particular his piece Stoclet Frieze that captivated their attention - its colours, symmetry and curves were eventually what influenced the entire redecoration of the building. Over time many distinguished guests have stayed within the hotel’s walls, among them:
Gina Lollobrigida, Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly. The latter took residence for a period of six months in an apartment made specially for her and the Prince of Monaco on the second floor. Today it is a conference room which has kept its original decoration. With its 354 rooms, two restaurants, 18 meetings rooms and 700-person capacity for special events, the Crowne Plaza Hotel of Brussels awaits you! Web: www.crowneplaza.com/brusselsbel
ART GALLERY OF THE MONTH, BELGIUM
A crystal palace Escape into a mesmerising world of glass art at the Glazen Huis museum in Lommel. Driving through the beautiful heathland of the Campine countryside near Lommel, you will be struck by a conical glass spire towering over the town. It is the eye-catching centrepiece of the Glazen Huis (Glass House) glass museum, which opened its doors here ten years ago. Lommel’s connection with the glass industry goes back more than 150 years though. In the mid-1800s, they discovered big layers of fine, silvery white sand underneath the heathland here, containing a high percentage of silica. It is this sand which has ever since been quarried and shipped worldwide for the manufacturing of glass.
Art of glass Inside the museum, visitors will find a colourful international collection of glass objects. “We exhibit everyday glass objects as well as glass 70 | Issue 49 | January 2018
TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT | PHOTOS: KRISTOF VRANCKEN
design and art objects,” explains museum curator/director Jasmien Vanhoof. “Our main mission is to promote the use of glass in modern art, and we collect glass art and glass related art from all over the world.” Visitors can wander the airy rooms of the listed building over three floors and discover the many wonderful ways in which glass can be turned into P. Samyn and Partners; architects and engineers. Photo: M.F. Plissaert
art. “The museum also frequently invites renowned international glass artists to take up a residency at the Glazen Huis,” Jasmien smiles. “So if you are lucky, you can watch them at work. And if you feel inspired and fancy having a go yourself, you are welcome to take part in one of our glass making workshops. They are open to adults and children from six years up.” Web: www.hetglazenhuis.be/en
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