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Villa Empain

April 24th, 2012

Elisabeth

Built in Brussels, in the early thirties of last century, the private mansion of Baron Louis Empain by Swiss Architect Michel Polak was designed in the then prevailing Art Deco aesthetic. I have a weakness for the Art Deco movement which found it’s expression not only in architecture and interior design but also in industrial and graphic design, fashion and furniture. It’s considered to be an ornamental style (a dirty word when I studied architecture) but it just appeals (other dirty word) to me. I’m still stunned to see the eye for detail. Even the drains, doorknobs, lighting fixtures and heaters were carefully considered. Their aim was to design a total work of art. There is a richness in the use of materials, colours and textures, which resulted in unusual combinations as marble, polished granite, bronze and exotic wood, as depicted here.  But i’m not the only one who fell in love with this aesthetic. Remember last week …when I took you to Malibu?

Since 2005 the villa is open to the public (after severe restoration) and is now the home of the Boghossian foundation: ‘making it a centre of art and dialogue between the cultures of the East and the West’. It is truly beautiful, a real aesthetic shelter, and so worth the visit.

All pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter

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