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Inside Art nouveau

Rue Vanderschrick 1-25, avenue Jean Volders 42-48 and chaussée de Waterloo 13-15

Rue Vanderschrick 3, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Belgium

Ernest Blérot

1900-1902

All the façades, Rue Vanderschrick 20 and previous (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

All the façades, Rue Vanderschrick 20 and previous (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindow, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindow, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffito decoration, front door, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffito decoration, front door, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 19 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 19 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindows, Rue Vanderschrick 21 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindows, Rue Vanderschrick 21 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

All the façades, Rue Vanderschrick 20 and previous (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

All the façades, Rue Vanderschrick 20 and previous (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindow, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindow, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffito decoration, front door, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffito decoration, front door, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Sgraffiti decorations, upper section of the façade, Rue Vanderschrick 1 to 25 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 19 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Façade, Rue Vanderschrick 19 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindows, Rue Vanderschrick 21 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Cellarwindows, Rue Vanderschrick 21 (photo ca 1990), photo Bastin-Evrard ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Rue Vanderschrick 1-25, avenue Jean Volders 42-48 and chaussée de Waterloo 13-15

The architect and entrepreneur Ernest Blérot developed this incredible construction project, comprising 15 Art Nouveau buildings near the Parvis de Saint-Gilles, at the request of a rich widow, Mrs Elsom. While ensuring overall unity of style, Blérot designed each façade in a different manner, showing a great deal of skill.

FACADES

Admire the variety of shapes used by Blérot, the diversity of the curves, arches, bretèches and balconies. Each house has at least one wrought iron balcony and very often a bow window as well; however, these are positioned at different heights.

The homogeneity of the materials ties the whole ensemble together, often thanks to blue stone structures set against backgrounds of light-coloured bricks or white stone.

Each façade has its own sgraffiti decorations, which depict a variety of blooming flowers.

INTERIOR

The layout of these houses remains traditional, with two or three adjoining rooms on each floor. However, the entrance halls are often better appointed and show the architect’s Art Nouveau touch. The internal doors that separate the entrance hall from the stairwell feature lovely curves. The idea was that when a front door opened onto the street, passers-by should be able to assume that all the interiors were as rich as the façades…

In 1911, the daughter of the widow, Mrs Elsom, arranged for a function room to be built within the block. This room must have been splendid, because it was designed entirely by Blérot himself. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire in 1974.  In its place today, you will find a pleasant garden, which is open to the public.

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