Gardens of van Buuren Museum are the first Belgian gardens to join the prestigious European Route of Historic Gardens. This is a unique international recognition and promotion of this Brussels garden with an exceptional heritage.
Founded in 2016, the European Route of Historic Gardens aims to preserve and promote the cultural heritage linked to historic gardens in Europe. As a new member and the first recognized historical garden in Belgium, the Museum & Gardens van Buuren joins an exclusive network of emblematic sites that share a common passion for the history, art and architecture of gardens.
“The gardens of the Van Buuren Museum, with almost 100 years of history, vividly illustrate the still present influence of several centuries of garden culture in Europe”Lukasz Przybylak, President-in-Office of the European Route of Historic Gardens.
With more than 52% of its territory under plant cover, Brussels is one of the greenest capitals in Europe where a number of gardens, squares, tree-lined avenues, parks and forests contribute to making our Region a place where nature thrives. Rich in a unique biodiversity necessary to combat climate change, these green spaces in Brussels are also very often witnesses to the history of our territory, urban developments and the vision of architects and landscapers. Brussels parks are thus a unique historical, landscape, tree-lined, architectural, cultural and artistic heritage which deserve our greatest attention and which must be protected and enhanced at all costs.
Ans Persoons, Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage emphasised the importance of protecting Brussels parks and gardens. – “Following the restoration supported by Urban.brussels, this international recognition of the van Buuren Gardnes, marks an important step in the preservation and enhancement of this landscape heritage with Art Deco and post-war accents. My ambition now is to continue enhancing and protecting Brussels’ heritage and green spaces through the development of a specific Brussels label for remarkable parks and gardens”, says Ans Persoons.
“The gardens of the Van Buuren Museum, with almost 100 years of history, vividly illustrate the still present influence of several centuries of garden culture in Europe,” adds Lukasz Przybylak, President-in-Office of the European Route of Historic Gardens.
This prestigious recognition for the gardens, veritable landscape masterpieces created by landscape architects Jules Buyssens and René Pechère, was obtained following an extremely rigorous selection process during which the scientific selection committee of the European Route of Historic Gardens has carefully assessed the cultural, historical and artistic value of the gardens and the Museum’s commitment to their preservation and restoration. It is thanks to the unwavering commitment of the Brussels-Capital Region and the Museum to the conservation of these historic gardens and their sustained efforts to raise public awareness of the cultural and environmental importance of heritage gardens that this recognition has been granted.
The gardens of the Museum van Buuren, with an initial area of 26 ares in 1924, now extend over 1.2 hectares. A stylistic and temporal harmony links the part designed by Jules Buyssens (1872-1958) to the Art Deco house. Alice van Buuren, 45 years later, designed the gardens of René Pechère (1908-2002) as an ideal complement to the villa and the existing garden.
Closely associating picturesque and Art Deco elements, the park consists of six spaces: the Picturesque Garden, the Small Rose Garden, the Large Rose Garden, the Labyrinth, the Heart Garden and the Orchard. This green setting located in the heart of Brussels can be visited in all seasons.
Funded by the Brussels-Capital Region, the garden restoration project was successfully carried out in two phases (2009-2012 and 2018-2019) by Atelier Eole. The total amount of subsidies granted for the garden amounts to 1,685,165.93 euros, including 894,189.68 euros for the picturesque garden part of Jules Buyssens and 790,976.25 euros for the René Pechère part.
Classified as a site in 1997 and as a monument by Government Decree on April 29, 2004, this garden is an eminent witness to the artistic movement of the Nouveau Jardin Pittoresque. Its restoration was honored with the Europa Nostra award in 2015.
About Museum & Gardens van Buuren
The house of the couple David and Alice van Buuren, built in 1928, is a remarkable example of Art Deco. This house-museum houses rare furniture, signed carpets, stained glass, sculptures and an exceptional collection of paintings by Belgian and international masters, from the 15th to the 20th century. The gardens surrounding the house are a true masterpiece of landscape art and are considered one of the finest and best preserved examples of interwar gardens in Belgium.
In 1970, Alice van Buuren created the Van Buuren Museum and Gardens foundation with the aim of preserving and sharing this artistic and cultural work. Open to the public since 1975, the foundation organizes exhibitions, concerts, conferences, meetings with artists and guided tours, thus offering a varied artistic program throughout the year.