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Innovation in Brussels Architecture: 19th and 20th centuries

Join us for a talk by Guy Conde-Reis who discusses innovation in Brussels architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Founded in 1830, Belgium experienced spectacular industrial growth that pushed the country to the forefront of world economic development. Its industries produced metallurgical materials like steel and cast iron, but also glass and paints, among others. Not only were these materials exported throughout Europe, they supported the country’s national architecture. Since 1845, architecture in Belgium has been technically innovative and, by the late 19th century, this technological mastery became associated with the formal inventiveness of young architects wishing to modernize the world in what would become known as the Art Nouveau style.

Presented by: Guy Conde-Reis

Presenter bio:

Guy Conde-Reis currently promotes contemporary architecture with the Promotion and Information Department at urban.brussels in the Brussels-Capital Region. Previously, Mr. Conde-Reis worked at the Heritage Department of the Brussels-Capital Region where he managed projects for historic monuments. Since 1999, he has represented this Department within the Réseau Art Nouveau Network, a European cooperation network for conservation of Art Nouveau heritage.

Mr. Conde-Reis lectures at ULB where he serves as Faculty of Architecture La Cambre—Horta and Paul Philippot Heritage. He also curated exhibitions on Art Nouveau, including The Aubecq Hôtel at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and Flora's Feast. The floral motif in Art Nouveau at the CIVA Foundation, Brussels. Additionally, Conde-Reis is the author of articles and coordinator of publications on the subject of restoration and history of Brussels architecture about The Royal Galleries Saint-Hubert and others.

Organized by: Embassy of Belgium in Washington, D.C. and Brussels International


At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:
  • Explore the design elements that characterized 19th- and 20th-century innovation in Brussels architecture;
  • Discuss how metallurgical materials like steel and cast iron shaped architecture in Belgium beginning in the late 19th century;
  • Describe Art Nouveau and how it modernized the world;
  • Discuss preservation practices in the Brussels architecture community.