Curious to discover another Art Deco heaven in Brussels? This time we present the magnificent Fondation Médicale Reine Elisabeth. Genius architect Henry Lacoste designed this gem at the end of the 1920’s at the request of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. Our most original queen wanted an institution dedicated to medical research and exchanges between researchers and practitioners (the Hôpital Brugmann is located next door).
The exteriors seem simple at first glance but a closer look reveals details typical of the Brick Expressionism in the Amsterdam School or in de Kontorhausviertel in Hamburg. The gates are very original and the architect didn’t look far to commission them, as they were made in his father’s ironwork company.
The interiors are simply phenomenal. Like Queen Elisabeth, Henry Lacoste was a keen egyptologist and this has influenced the decors, without falling into pastiche.
He extensively used marbrite, a Belgian tinted glass product that had been invented during WW1 by Arthur Brancart and was a big hit during the Art Deco period.
The Fondation is not accessible for individual visits so if you are interested, I recommend contacting Laeken Découverte or checking the Brussels Heritage Days for one of the organised visits. You can also visit their official website for more details about this venue.
Author: Laurence-Anne Doetsch