Monsieur Etrimo, the story of a genius and his downfall (Part 2)

Part Two: Collin a Visionary Entrepreneur.

This creative, ambitious, hard worker embarked on new projects in the early 1950s.

After the war there was a lack of housing, it was time to rebuild.

The whole political class was demanding for it. Collin was riding the wave, imagining homes for the middle class, and embarking on projects of large affordable apartment buildings, we are far from the luxury buildings of the 1930s.


The great novelty lies in the fact that potential buyers could buy on credit, at the pace of construction, and at very low interest rates. It was an unprecedented success.

From 1950 to 1969, Etrimo built ± 6,000 housing units.

BUILDING ETRIMO All these buildings were intelligently designed, always on the same principle. 13-storey blocks, divided into three modules, each with its own lift serving 4 apartments per landing. All together 156 apartments. Including one reserved for the very useful concierge. Each apartment has a bright living room, an equipped kitchen, bathroom and separate toilet, 2 or 3 bedrooms, and above all a large and long terrace whose skies are painted in that light blue – vacation color, his signature. A dream that Collin makes it possible for a whole category of young and even less young population to come true.

In total, he built 18,000 housing units in major cities in Belgium and even in Luxembourg. These “building blocks” which were very often criticized, but which for the most part have stood up very well over the years, are today part of the architectural heritage of Brussels. Just like the name Etrimo.


To be continued…

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