Anyone who’s been to Brussels before will know that the art scene over there includes a lot of Art Deco. There are countless buildings and exhibitions across the city dedicated to this fascinating trend, and the Van Buuren Museum is no exception.
David van Buuren was a Dutch Banker, and along with his wife Alice they created a beautiful home in the heart of Brussels in 1928. David was a patron of the arts, which is what lead to his interest in building a home quite so uniquely beautiful. With his wife at his side, a woman equally passionate about art, they were a force to be reckoned with, and built a house that has managed to maintain its popularity for nearly 100 years since completion.
The Van Buurens designed something that epitomized the era in which they lived, and did it with the utmost style and integrity. Each part of the house was carefully choreographed, right down to the tiniest of details such as the light switches. The house has been preserved exceptionally well over the years, and when you stand in it today you feel like it would have looked exactly the same 90 years ago when it was still shiny and new. Every wood surface in the Van Buuren House glistens like it was created yesterday and the varnish is still drying, and all the light that shines through the windows, which are all laid out in classic Art Deco fashion, makes the property come alive.
Not only is the design and architecture of the house a sight well worth seeing, also make sure you look at the walls around you and see the collection of painting that the Van Buurens owned. The house design may be very early 20th century, but the art of the wall ranges from 15th century pieces to very modern works, modern by David and Alice’s standards, anyway. They pair collected masterpieces from Belgian and Italian artists, some of which even studied under or alongside the likes of Van Gogh and Rembrandt. David was the only patron of van de Woestyne, a Belgian expressionist painter, and he collected a total of 32 of his paintings which are still on show in the museum today.
Now step outside and delve into the luxurious gardens of the Van Buuren Museum. In 1924 the gardens only covered around 100m², but they now spread over four times that area. There are three sections to the gardens, the ‘Picturesque Garden, ‘The Labyrinth’, and ‘The Garden of the Heart’. As you can imagine, the middle of these three is like a little hedge maze, and the latter really is a series of hedges that look like hearts – the perfect spot for some romantic photography if you’re with the one you love!
As you wander around the beautiful gardens you will see quite a bit of artwork also. This adds something extra to the already amazing garden area.
A visit to the Van Buuren house is a must-do in Brussels if you’re interested in both art and architecture. The house itself and décor inside it are iconic of the time in which they were designed, and David and Alice did a seriously good job of making their home and gardens a beautiful space to be in.
You can find out more information about the Van Buuren Museum at www.visitbrussels.be