Van Bellinghen Tomberg House

1900 Ernest Blerot

Place Louis Morichar 41 | Saint-Gilles

In 1900, a Mr Van Bellinghen-Tomberg, who made his living selling construction materials and patented hook slates, chose the brand-new Place Morichar to build a home for himself and an adjoining rental property with a warehouse at the back. 

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For the client's home, Ernest Blerot designed a fresh-looking façade with lyrical yet naive decorative features depicting the cycle of the seasons. Against a backdrop of reeds and water lilies, a heron, a parrot and a stork vie for prominence in the colourful stained glass of the large ground-floor window and the transom window above the front door. On the upper floors, the architect has opted for mosaic panels instead of his usual sgraffito. The first illustrates the passing of time, featuring a waking rooster and sunflowers at dawn, while on the opposite side an owl hovers against a starry sky. In the second, four swallows swoop and dive in an evening sky. These bucolic themes are given graceful accompaniment by the decorative stone and ironwork with its intertwining vegetation.

Inside, the main living rooms were decorated in Flemish neo-Renaissance and Louis XVI style, with the master's characteristic touch in evidence in all the joinery, hardware and mosaic flooring in the reception and circulation areas.

Blerot would go on to replicate this façade for other clients, just changing the odd detail. It was to prove a profitable line for this prolific architect, who produced all of his work in just 14 years: some 70 Art Nouveau villas, houses and town houses, all of them in the Brussels metropolitan area!


By the same architect