Brussels

Inside Art nouveau

Municipal school no. 13

Avenue de Roodebeek 103, 1030 Schaerbeek, Belgium

Composition on marouflaged canvas by Maurice Langaskens, covered courtyard, school no. 13 (photo 2010) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Composition on marouflaged canvas by Maurice Langaskens, covered courtyard, school no. 13 (photo 2010) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Entrance lodge, school no. 13 (photo 2018) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Entrance lodge, school no. 13 (photo 2018) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Medallion featuring Gabrielle Petit by Henri Privat-Livemont, gymnasium shared by primary schools no. 11 and 13 (photo 2011) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Medallion featuring Gabrielle Petit by Henri Privat-Livemont, gymnasium shared by primary schools no. 11 and 13 (photo 2011) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Composition on marouflaged canvas by Maurice Langaskens, covered courtyard, school no. 13 (photo 2010) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Composition on marouflaged canvas by Maurice Langaskens, covered courtyard, school no. 13 (photo 2010) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Entrance lodge, school no. 13 (photo 2018) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Entrance lodge, school no. 13 (photo 2018) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Medallion featuring Gabrielle Petit by Henri Privat-Livemont, gymnasium shared by primary schools no. 11 and 13 (photo 2011) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Medallion featuring Gabrielle Petit by Henri Privat-Livemont, gymnasium shared by primary schools no. 11 and 13 (photo 2011) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Municipal school no. 13

Henri Jacobs skilfully added Art Nouveau to the school’s curriculum. Having a visionary and deeply idealistic spirit, he gave this municipal school sumptuous decoration intended to instil in the children “a sense of beauty, clarity and harmony”.

FACADE

This small white stone façade can almost be summarised by describing its enormous front door alone. This huge door features a large keystone bearing the letter “S” for Schaerbeek and is topped with a quoin sculpted with curling branches and bearing the inscriptions “École Communale” and “Gemeenteschool”. The two high windows on the upper floor are surmounted with a frieze of floral garlands.

INTERIOR

Inside, the school is set out in the middle of the block, around a yard and courtyard leading to the classrooms. These are topped by a glass roof, which introduces daylight into the space. The floor of this courtyard features a mosaic compass rose, extending over the tiling, which was intended to give the pupils a taste for knowledge and study. The wall opposite the entrance displays a large Symbolist fresco, a work by the painter Maurice Langaskens.  This composition is presented in three parts, entitled respectively: “Les Contes de l’ancêtre” (The Old Man’s Stories), “L’Etude” (Study), and “Les Bergers étudiant les étoiles” (The Shepherds Studying the Stars). The school also has other frescoes, and is certainly worth visiting, particularly since it has remained intact over time.

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