Brussels

Inside Art nouveau

The Palais du vin (“Wine Palace”) “Brias et Cie”

Rue des Tanneurs 62, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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

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

Upper walkway (photo 2007) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Upper walkway (photo 2007) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

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

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

Upper walkway (photo 2007) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

Upper walkway (photo 2007) ©urban.brussels. All rights reserved.

The Palais du vin (“Wine Palace”) “Brias et Cie”

This imposing building is a fine example of early 20th century industrial architecture. The Brias-Catteau company, specialists in the wine trade, had had a presence in the neighbourhood since 1892 and wanted to carry out a radical transformation on its warehouses, rebuilding them in the more fashionable Art Nouveau style. It entrusted this project to the architect Fernand Symons.

EXTERIOR

The long multi-coloured façade, given new colours and featuring an interplay of different materials, was designed by the architect to serve as an advertisement for the company, reflecting its modernity. It includes wonderful sgraffiti images by Géo Ponchon, which depict the coats of arms of various famous winegrowing regions.

Vines and grapes also feature in the wrought iron railings, as well as on the keystone of the pediment.

INTERIORS

This building underwent significant renovation in the early 2000s and now houses a business centre and a covered market. Nevertheless, in the atrium you can still admire the architect’s precision in his interpretation of functional architecture. This is expressed in the continuity of the decorative earthenware plinth course, the design of the floor covering and the provision of light and natural ventilation, all complying with Hygienist rules for the increased comfort of the workers and employees of the time.

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