Great news for architecture aficionados in Brussels – the public authorities have become the owner of the Office van Eetvelde (2 Palmerston Avenue in the EU Quarter) by arch. Victor Horta thanks to a joint action by Beliris and the Brussels-Capital Region. In the light of the upcoming Art Nouveau Year 2023, this acquisition is in line with the strategy and ambition of the city to strengthen Brussels as the worldwide capital of Art Nouveau.
During an official press conference Karine Lalieux, Federal Minister in charge of Beliris, Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region and Pascal Smet, Secretary of State in charge of Heritage, have officially announced the purchase of this Unesco World Heritage site. The event took place in the former office of Edmond van Eetvelde – a diplomat and former advisor to King Leopold II, which was designed by the master Art Nouveau architect, Victor Horta.
Looking at its meticulous design on the exterior and the interior, one can understand in an instant the concept of ’total work of art’. Although the owner of the adjacent Hotel van Eetvelde is still the Synergrid, the federation of electricity and natural gas network operators in Belgium, there is good hope that the two buildings can be reconnected as they once were. This tenement house and extension of the Hôtel van Eetvelde was built in 1899.
The Office van Eetvelde will become accessible to the public on a regular basis early 2023. Furthermore, it will serve as an interpretation centre for Art Nouveau that will play a central role during the upcoming Art Nouveau Year 2023. It will also become the headquarters of the Réseau Art Nouveau Network, the main co-operation platform of European Art Nouveau cities and institutions.