Stoclet House – A Private Heritage Site of Brussel

Featured Stoclet Palace
Featured Stoclet Palace Brussel / Image Credit: whc.unesco.org

Brussel, a Belgium City is famous across the globe for its magnificent ancient monument and amazing historical past. This history can be seen in its various buildings and monuments. A blend of Belgium history and Europen architecture, traveller can observe at various corner of the city. Although there are many heritage sites and catherals in Brussel but one which you can’t visit but still it is in the list of UNESCO world heritage site is Stcolet House!! Confusing though as the heritage site is not open for public!

But why it got mention it on the UNESCO Heritage List when it is private? Let’s know more about the Stoclet House and learn what so special about this palace. 

Knowing the Stoclet House

Stoclet House is also known as the Stoclet Palace. The Stoclet Palace is located on Tervuerenlaan Avenue in the Brussels municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. The structure was built to look like a magnificent city mansion from the road. The Stoclet Palace was the Wiener Werkstätte’s first residential project, co-founded by Hoffman in 1903. It was designed and erected in Brussels from 1905 to 1911 by one of the movement’s founders, Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann and is considered the masterpiece of his work.

Stoclet House, Brussels
Stoclet House, Brussels / britannica.com

Stoclet House is one of the most accomplished, uniform and unique buildings showcasing Vienna Modernism. The house gone through creative renewal in European architecture, maintains a high level of integrity both externally and interior, retaining the majority of its original fixtures and furniture.

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History of the Stoclet House

Adolphe Stoclet, a wealthy Belgian financier and art collector, commissioned the Stoclet Palace. Josef Hoffmann, an Austrian architect, was his choice. Hoffman eschewed previous fads and styles in favour of an asymmetrical composition of rectangular blocks accentuated by exaggerated lines and corners.

The facade is softened by artistic windows that break through the line of the eaves, the rooftop conservatory and Franz Metzner’s bronze statues of four naked males that are mounted on the tower that rises above the stairs.

When banker and art collector Adolphe Stoclet commissioned this house from one of the leading architects of the Vienna Secession movement, Josef Hoffmann, in 1905, he imposed neither aesthetic nor financial restrictions on the project. The house and garden were completed in 1911 and their severe geometry marked a turning point in Art Nouveau, implying Art Deco and the Modern Movement in architecture. Yes, it’s mainly for security due to which it is kept still hidden. But it presents a essence of human history from which we can all learn.

Stoclet House’s Architecture

The building’s exterior features a ‘austere geometry,’ which represents a turning point in Art Nouveau and contributes significantly to the change in architectural styles toward Art Deco and Modernism. However, to fully appreciate the artist of this location, you must view the combination of the exterior and interior. The goal of the people who worked on the Stoclet House was to construct a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk,’ which is the lovely German style of saying “total work of art.”

Interior Architecture of Stoclet Palace
Interior Architecture of Stoclet Palace / Image Credit: en.wikiarquitectura.com

The outside architecture, internal architecture and decorating, furniture and garden of the Stoclet House are all of exceptional quality.

How This Palace Came To Notice

Adolphe Stoclet passed in 1949 and his daughter-in-law Annie Stoclet acquired the mansion. The mansion was owned by Annie’s four daughters after her death in 2002. Currently, the Stoclet Palace is closed to the public. According to press accounts, the mansion is being cared for by two custodians. It is nominated now and the property contains all of the elements required for the expression of this value. It hasn’t experienced any significant changes.

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Who is Josef Hoffmann?

Josef Hoffmann is a German architect whose work was important in the early development of modern architecture in Europe. Hoffmann’s major achievement and masterpiece was his Stoclet House which he created in 1905 in Brussels. The exterior of that luxuriant structure achieved a grand appeal not in terms of design which includes straight lines and white squares and rectangles but its enormous size too.

josef-hoffmann
Josef Hoffmann / Image Credit: mak.at

The Stoclet Palace has been added to the UNESCO world heritage site and it is sounds like a fascinating home that is not only appealing to the eye. But this palace crucial in the evolution of architecture.

How You Will Reach Stoclet Palace?

Although the palace is not allowed for public visits. But if you want to see the exterior and any information than it takes roughly an hour to walk from Brussels Central Station to the Stoclet Palace. Take Metro to Montgomery, it is the most convenient way to get there by public transportation. There are numerous trams that run to Montgomery, although all of them are slower than the Metro.

The Stoclet Palace is a private residence and visitors are not permitted to enter or view the interiors. However, because the house is on the street, you can get a good look at the outside without having to cross the gate onto private land.