Brussels, Franklin Rooseveltlaan 67
1931 – 1934
In 1929, baron Louis Empain buys a piece of land in Brussels. Two years later, the construction of a large house began. It was designed by the Swiss architect Michel Polak (1885-1948). It is built in Art Deco style, one of my favorite styles. Inside it is like a palace with marble, exclusive woods and beautiful motifs everywhere. With an open house we finally went to see the interior of this famous building.
Empain did not live here long and gave it to the Belgian State in 1937 to house a Museum of Contemporary Ornamental Art. Various exhibitions were also held. It was then claimed by the Germans during WWII and subsequently used as an embassy for the USSR. The latter was contrary to the rules of the donation and therefore Baron Empain recuperates the villa in 1963. From 1965, exhibitions and events are organized again.
Destruction and vandalism
But that does not last long and it is sold in 1973, renting it out from 1980 to 1993 as the Belgian seat of RTL. From the 1990s there is a decline. It is occasionally rented out again, but for the most part it is left to its fate.
In 2007 it is classified as a monument and the Boghossian Foundation bought the building. The villa was restored from 2006 to 2010. Now it is a center for art and dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures.
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