Palais Stoclet, Belgium: architecture and history

Stoclet Palace

Stoclet Palace (Palais Stoclet, Dutch: Stocletpaleis) is a Brussels house built for the banker Adolph Stoclet (1871-1949) in 1905-11 based on the design of one of the most radical representatives of Viennese Secession, J. Hoffmann. In the history of European architecture he entered as a kind of watershed between modern and modernism.

Under conditions of full creative freedom – the client did not limit the architect in terms of ideas and means – Hoffman came close to creation of “total work of art” (Gesamtkunstwerk). The garden around the mansion was also laid out and decorated according to Hofmann’s design. The building is still decorated to this day with works by members of the Vienna workshops – Klimt, Moser and Metzner.

Cocteau, Diaghilev, and Stravinsky have all visited the house, whose interiors retain the original decorations and furnishings. It is owned by descendants of Stoclet and is closed to tourists. Until 2002, it was the residence of Adolphe Stoclet’s daughter-in-law. In 2009, the Stoclet House was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Klimt’s mural in the dining room


    There are media files on Wikimedia Commons about the Stoclet House
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See what “Stoclet Palace” is in other dictionaries:

Royal Palace (Brussels) – This term has other meanings, see Royal Palace. Royal Palace … Wikipedia

Lachen Palace – Coordinates: 50°53′11″N. 4°21′35″ E. / 50.886389° N. 4.359722°E. …Wikipedia

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belgium – There are 11 names on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the Kingdom of Belgium (as of 2012), representing 1.1% of the total (962 as of 2012). All sites are listed according to cultural criteria, with 3 of them recognized … … Wikipedia

Hoffmann – Josef Hoffmann (15.12.1870, Pirnitz, now Brtnice, Czechoslovakia, 7.5.1956, Vienna), Austrian architect. He studied at the Viennese School of Art and Industry at K. Hasenauer and O. Wagner, took part in organizing the “Viennese… …. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia

Joseph Hoffmann (1870 1956), Austrian architect. Buildings in the spirit of Viennese Art Nouveau stand out for their rational simplicity and tectonic integrity of form (Stoclet Palace in Brussels, 1905 11). * Hoffmann Joseph Hoffmann (15…) Encyclopedic Dictionary.

Hoffmann, Josef Hoffmann – Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann … Wikipedia

Mini Europa – View of Mini Europa from the Atomium Mini Europa is a park located in the Brupark at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels. The park … Wikipedia

Laken – Laken. Japanese pagoda This term has … Wikipedia

Atomium – Atomium … Wikipedia

Royal Museums of Fine Arts (Brussels) – Coordinates: 50°50′30.82″ N. 4°21′28.11″ E. / 50.841894° N. 4.35781° E … Wikipedia

Stoclet Palace

The Palais Stoclet (French: Palais Stoclet, Dutch: Stocletpaleis) is the house of Adolphe Stoclet (1871-1949), a banker, industrialist and philanthropist, built for him in 1905-1911 on the outskirts of Brussels, according to the design of one of the most radical representatives of the Vienna Secession, Josef Hoffmann. In the history of European architecture the building reflects basic principles and apogee of geometric current in the art of Viennese Art Nouveau and transition to the new art of the modernist period. The Stoclet House is largely known for the gilded frieze in its front dining room, a masterpiece by the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. In 2009, the Stoclet House was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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During the first tour of the palace by a delegation of the Belgian Union of Architects on September 22, 1912, one of the visitors shouted in delight: “I think I’m on the planet Mars!” Hoffmann’s project in no way correlated with the architectural traditions known in Belgium. Belgian architects commented with both skepticism and euphoria: “Of course it’s art, but very intellectual art. The cube-like fortress-like structure, with its white marble façade, floated in the air in a strange way, held up as if by bronze curbs alone. The palace had two “faces” so that the large Stoclet family could enjoy all the advantages of both an urban and a country house. The street-facing side of the mansion looked like a representative palace with a modernist façade, while the sculptured garden façade with bay windows, balconies, and terraces made it look like a suburban villa.

History and architecture

The Stoclet Mansion became the major work of the Vienna Workshops. The building was built of brick and is faced with marble slabs on the outside and inside. It has a complex layout: a large inner garden, covered passages, upper terraces, and a roof garden. The stepped tower is decorated with bronze sculptures. Using a variety of combinations of planes, squares and straight lines, protrusions and rhythmic “shifts”, Josef Hoffman was able to create an expressive image in the style of the geometric current of Art Nouveau. Tense rhythm of horizontals and verticals, fine glazing of windows, ornament made of squares and rectangles, the chess cell, most vividly manifested in this building, became Josef Hoffmann’s “trademark”. For his predilection for geometric forms Hoffmann was called the “true Wagnerian”, and for his characteristic rectangular forms – the “boardwalk” and “square Hoffmann” (Quadratl Hoffmann).


The interiors and furniture created by the artists of the Vienna workshops were meant to form a coherent whole with Hoffmann’s architecture. They are compared to a series of stage sets, a kaleidoscope of extraordinary views from one room to another. Walls and floors of white, black and green marble combine with gilt bronze and the color of natural wood. The mansion housed a collection of Oriental art, which largely determined the style of the building’s interiors. The dining room of the palace was decorated by the frieze “Tree of Life” in the complex technique of painting, mosaics and inlaying, sketches for which were prepared by Gustav Klimt. On a gold background is a tree of curving branches and spirals. The triangular leaves and round flowers are symbols of life that Klimt drew from Sigmund Freud’s books, which the artist was fond of at the time. The Tree of Life panel is attributed to the artist’s “golden period,” in part because of his fascination with Byzantine mosaics after his trip to Venice and Ravenna. The Stoclet House has been called a museum of Secessionism. Coloman Moser, Michael Povolny, Franz Metzner, Richard Luksch, Karl Otto Cieszka, and Helena Luksch-Makowska participated in the creation of its interiors. Every detail of the house, including the rectangular marble bathtub, is decorated with marble inlays and sculpture. The Stoclet Mansion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Cocteau, Diaghilev, and Stravinsky visited the house, the interiors of which preserve the original decorations and furnishings. It is owned by descendants of Stoclet and is closed to tourists. Until 2002, it was the residence of Adolphe Stoclet’s daughter-in-law.

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