Works on the facade renovation of the Hôtel Solvay in Brussels have began. For the first time in 115 years, the facade of this magnificent building will be restored and reinforced. To the satisfaction of many art nouveau aficionados, the museum will remain open to the public throughout the works.
It is worth noting that one year after the opening of the Solvay House to the public (visits are possible two days a week), this has been a great success despite the pandemic.
With 15,000 registered visitors, all available time slots were highly popular. The travel restrictions of this pandemic period explain why Belgians have been the main visitors to the Solvay House over the past twelve months, followed by the French.
State Secretary for Heritage Pascal Smet. shared his satisfaction with the number of people who have visited the museum since its opening to the public – “It is amazing to see how many Belgians find their way to the Solvay House. This building makes us proud and is essential to the image of Brussels. That is why we are taking our responsibility and freeing up more than 800,000 euros for this first worksite.”
“For the first time in 115 years, the facade will be restored and reinforced. This concrete example illustrates that we want to respect the past and at the same time create the future.”State Secretary for Heritage Pascal Smet.
The owner of Hôtel Solvay, Alexandre Wittamer also shared his enthusiasm with the results of the past year – “If we open the bookings for a period of 3 months, they are fully booked very quickly. We were surprised and happy with this success. To achieve this, we could count on the action and support of the Brussels Region and the cabinet of Pascal Smet. The support for the renovation work shows once again that the attention paid to Art Nouveau is more than just fine words. A lot has moved in the past two years and it is our heritage as a whole that benefits,” Alexandre Wittamer said during the press conference on 9th March 2022.
If we open the bookings for a period of 3 months, they are fully booked very quickly. We were surprised and happy with this success.Alexandre Wittamer
During the planned facade works in 2022, the Solvay House will continue to build on the success of its inaugural year. At the same time, several new projects will be introduced in the museum aiming to increase the accessibility for the persons with reduced mobility.
Solvay House extends its audience and becomes accessible to PRM
Alexandre Wittamer has decided to create a specific visitor tour on the ground floor for people with reduced mobility, who will also have the chance to discover the entire house through a 3D experience. The tour itself leads to the monumental staircase, the office and the kitchens, all rooms that were not accessible until now.
Accessible heritage for everyone is a priority. This initiative combines a real and a virtual visit, thanks to a collaboration between the Horta Museum and Brussels Open City for Technology and Inclusiveness.
800,000 euros for facade restoration
In order to maintain and preserve the building, Alexandre Wittamer and urban.brussels, commissioned the development of a master plan that includes all the works with its different phases. Due to the real risk of collapse of the bow window, the facade restoration was the absolute priority.
In 115 years, some facade elements have indeed moved 7 cm forward. The worksite should last one year and be completed in early 2023, mainly financed by the Brussels-Capital Region, which has released 800,000 for this purpose.
The museum will remain open to the public throughout the works.
More info via this link.