It is the story of a young man who was passionate about architecture from an early age.
In 2006, at the age of fifteen, he discovered in Rhode Saint Genèse the house where one of his friends lived. A house, more like a palace. Staggering. He is in shock, and there is something. This immense villa of 600 m2 is very mysterious, as if it came out of a novel by Carlos Zafon…
The family that lives here knows almost nothing about the origins of the building.
The young man, Amaury De Smet, begins his research with assiduity and perseverance, to discover the origins of this villa. He went so far as to find a descendant of the first owners.
The building dates from 1938, sponsored by the Muller family, originally from Antwerp, but living in Argentina at the start of the 20th century and wishing to return to Belgium. They entrusted the creation to Marcel Spittael, Belgian architect who created the beautiful building that houses the Institute of Tropical Diseases in Antwerp.
The villa was completed in January 1940. But the war scared the Muller family, who returned to Argentina. They will never live in this masterpiece! Mr. Muller died in 1947 in Buenos Aires.
With the Mullers having no children, the villa will then pass from owner to owner, and surprisingly, it will not undergo any transformation, no demolition, everything will remain in the state of the original creation. A mysterious miracle.
The rare marble floors and walls, the precious exotic woods, the luxurious decoration, everything has been preserved.
This masterpiece cannot be visited, but in 2014, after 8 years of research, was the subject of a beautiful book written by Amaury De Smet, illustrated by remarkable photos by Serge Brison. Still pushed by Amaury De Smet, who mobilized international luminaries, the Flemish Monuments and Sites started a classifying procedure the building in record time.
Since then, fate strikes it again, it is now on borrowed time, unoccupied, the gardens look abandoned, barely protected from the street, works seem to have started but remain unfinished, frames are missing opening the door to bad weather and other threats.
The mystery therefore continues around this modernist gem.
However, let us hope that Villa Muller will not suffer the outrages of its French sister, Villa Cavrois, which we will tell you about later.