Maison du Peuple

Brussels, Belgium

Dismantled 1965

The Disappointed Tourist: Maison du Peuple, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 24 x 18″ (61 x 46 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Maison du Peuple or the People’s Home (Dutch: Volkshuis), was a public building located on Emile Vandervelde Square in Brussels. It was commissioned by the Belgian Workers’ Party from the architect Victor Horta and was one of the one of the most famous Art Nouveau buildings in Brussels. Construction started in 1896 and the building opened on 2 April 1899. In one of the most notorious examples of “Brusselization” and to the outrage of the architectural community, the building was demolished in 1965, and a skyscraper was built on its site. The building was dismantled rather than destroyed with the intention of rebuilding it elsewhere, but the components were scattered around Brussels and the reconstruction never took place. Parts of the building were incorporated into the Horta Grand Café in Antwerp and in the Horta Station in Saint-Gilles.

This beautiful building is again a proof that we as humans are capable of the best and the worst.  Benedikt VdV.

Also requested by Olivier M. & Wouter D.