Museum Boulevard by Lhoas&Lhoas
Ever heard of the Vanhaerents collection? This private museum of contractor and art collector Walter Vanhaerents, is housed in an ancient three-floor warehouse in the heart of Brussels. The established Belgian architects Robbrecht and Daem, have masterly renovated this building. But this is not what we'll be talking about... Next to this museum, mister Vanhaerents decided to construct a mix-use development with the vision of young and upcoming architects Lhoas&.Lhoas.
A development which exists out of three buildings: the renovation of typical Brussels mansions, the adjustment of an industrial warehouse and a new corner building. All of these placed along 3 streets: Fabriques (referring the industrial history of the neighbourhood) - Senne (the lost river of Brussels) and Aneessens (named after the neighbourhood). Being neatly divided both in terms of size, functions, typology and style, the architects decided to reflect this spirit inside as the unites are characterized by qualities such as structure, spatiality, views, light, sequences, hierarchy and standing.
In order to respect the hight which determines the character of the street, the middle building restores this urban order by adding two levels. Just like a dark color has being assigned as the main colour to give a continuation to all the new parts. Yet I doesn't go dull as bright coloured balconies create volumes which make the building easy to read. Moreover they create a crescendo differentiation that animate, complement, rhythm and unify. Inside you'll find the same play of coloured glass in the long hallways that give access to the lofts and luxurious apartments.
Most remarkable is the giant 'cry me a river" on top of the new building. Call it a gift of Walter Vanhaerents to the people of downtown Dansaert quarter. Between 21p.m. and midnight this artwork of Ugo Rondinone illuminates the Brussels sky. This particular one is the first of his rainbow slogan series, best-known for the "hell yes!" version hanging from the New Museum in New York.
To sum up this project: art, architecture and fun. It truly deserves the name of Museum Boulevard! And if you wonder who the guy is hanging from the slogan: it's art messiah Walter Vanhaerents.