Belgium Architecture and Music

Belgium Architecture and Music


At the end of the 19th century, King Leopold II gave impetus to Belgian architecture and had grandiose public buildings built by the architects A. Balat, J. Poelaert and H. Beyaert. The art nouveau tendencies were originally expressed at the beginning of the 20th century. by V. Horta and P. Hankar, and by H. van de Velde who, in a more complex approach to architecture and design, was among the first proponents of functionalism. After the First World War, L. van der Swaelmen, H. Hoste and V. Bourgeois who were members of the CIAM played a significant role in urban planning.. After the Second World War, a certain lack of respect for the urban fabric should be noted (demolition of works such as the Hôtel Aubecq, in 1949, and the Casa del Popolo, in 1964, in Horta in Brussels), so much so that in 1968 it was founded by M. Culot in Brussels the Atelier de la Recherche et de l’Action Urbaine, which was also attended by L. Krier. Also worthy of note are the strong personalities of L. Stijnen, R. Bastin, R. Braem, the attempts at formal innovation of A. Jacqmain on the Sart-Tilman university campus in Liège (1976-81) and of L. Kroll in the new university of Leuven in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, near Brussels, and in Louvain-la-Neuve (1973-82). There are several influences found in the works of S. Beel (single-family house in Zedelgem, 1993; office building in a former dairy in Eeklo, 1996; Raveel Museum in Machelen-aan-de-Leie, 1999), one of the main representatives of the new course of Belgian architecture, and in the interventions on the existing by P. Robbrecht and H. Daem (BAC bank in Kerksken Haaltert, 1991; renovation of warehouses in Antwerp, 1996). The lack of significant cultural heritage led P. Hebbelinck to independently develop the question of form in architectural expression (Maison Heureuse in Montegnée, 1990; offices and Casa Lecocq in Liège, 1995; Casa Dejardin in Queue-du-Bois, 1996) and X. de Geyter (single-family house in Brasschaat, 1992; residential building in Sint Niklaas, R. Koolhaas. La Loge (1934, F. Bodson), which houses the Archives d’Architecture Moderne, was transformed into the Musée d’Architecture Moderne (2001). For Belgium 2013, please check


It was only in the second half of the 17th century. that the Belgium experienced a creative awakening among local musicians, which culminated in a national movement in the 19th century. The modern Belgian school can be considered founded by C. Franck (1822-1890) who, while living and working in France, knew how to preserve the traditional characteristics of the Walloon genius; characters that also distinguished his pupil and compatriot G. Lekeu (1870-1894), who died immaturely. In addition to these two artists, the Walloon school inspired by the French C. Debussy and G. Fauré had among its exponents: J. and L. Jongen, V. Vreuls, E. Ysaÿe, L. du Bois, S. and A Dupuis, F. Rasse, R. Moulaert, P. de Maleingreau and many others. From 1830 to 1850, in addition to the diffusion of the Italian-French theatrical work, especially the one called grand-opéra (the theater de la Monnaie in Brussels was already considered one of the best in Europe), societies spread everywhere that in number and artistic preparation still make the Belgium one of the countries where this art is most flourishing.

The Flemish school, founded by P. Benoît, retained a popular character and loved the effects of choral and instrumental masses. Many musicians influenced by Wagnerism belonged to it: E. Tinel, J. Blockx, J. Ryelandt, A. De Greef, P. Gilson, M. Brusselmans and, above all, the operist Blockx and the choral authors Tinel and Ryelandt. Subsequent generations were inspired by the examples of I. Stravinskij, M. Ravel and the Group of Six from Paris, to whom the group of Brussels ‘synthesists’ corresponded in Belgium: R. Bernier, G. Brenta, T. Dejoncker, R. Otlet, M. Poot, M. Schoemaker, J. Strens, F. de Bourguignon and others, a group that refers to the personality of P. Gilson, master of many of them. Independents include J. Absil, A. Souris, P. Froidebise, M. Quinet, V. Legley, R. Chevreuille and H. Pousseur. The latter was responsible for the foundation of the first Belgian electronic music studio (Brussels, 1958); a similar institution was created in the Flemish area (Ghent, 1962) by L. de Meester.

Belgium is full of virtuosos: the Belgian violin school, founded by H. Vieuxtemps and culminating with E. Ysaÿe, is illustrated by Mathieu, Cerikboom, A. Duhois, Clochers. Of the quartets, the Pro arte, the Zimmer, the Charlier, the Rédelé, the Liegino, the Belgian quartet with piano, the Pro musica antiqua ensemble in Brussels are famous.


Flemish Béguinages (1998); Grand-Place of Brussels (1998); hydraulic lifts of the Canal du Center (1998); bell towers of Belgium and France (1998); historic center of Bruges (2000); main houses designed in Brussels by the architect Victor Horta (2000); Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes, Mons (2000); Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai (2000); museum complex with Plantin-Moretus house and laboratory in Antwerp (2005) ; Stoclet House in Brussels (2009).

Belgium Architecture and Music

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