Brussels

Inside Art nouveau

Private house owned by the architect Michel Mayeres

Rue Potagère 150, 1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium

Private house owned by the architect Michel Mayeres

This building, the private house of architect Michel Mayeres, appears to be an exception in the middle of this Neoclassical street. Its façade is also very unusual for the Art Nouveau movement, with its influences leaning towards Moorish art.

FACADE

The four-storey house, which is built entirely of white bricks accentuated with blue stone and orange-toned rendered sections, has superb curves. The building is composed of four bays of equal width, except for that of the entrance, which is slightly wider. The windows on the first floor are topped with horseshoe-shaped arched fanlights displaying an Arabic influence. From the second floor, the two central bays join to form an incredible bow window that juts over the street in a slight curve. Just above it is an imposing circular window featuring very loosely-shaped woodwork, behind which was the architect’s office.

All the orange rendered sections are actually believed to conceal old sgraffiti decorations, which were no doubt covered over because they were too difficult to maintain. Research on this subject should be undertaken.

INTERIOR

The hall lying behind the Art Nouveau door is adorned with two Corinthian columns with golden capitals, marking the way to the beautiful, understated Art Nouveau-style wooden staircase fairly similar to Paul Hankar’s work. A glazed roof surmounts the structure.

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