Architect Henry van de Velde’s fourth and last personal house, designed in 1927, testifies to his continuous research towards more sobriety and purity. It is located in Tervuren, Avenue Albert 1er, and is the archetype of his latest achievements, including the Wolfers hotel, which he would build 3 years later in Brussels, or the Kröller-Muller Museum in Holland, and the “Boekentoren of the University of Ghent (recently masterfully restored).
Thirty two years separate the Bloemenwerf, his first house, from this one… a long nomadic journey between Germany, Holland and Switzerland where the architect died in 1957 at the age of 94.
He financed the construction by selling some impressionist drawings from his collection and called his project “La nouvelle Maison”, because it corresponded to a new period of his life and his return to Belgium in 1925.
The style is resolutely simple, as he himself expressed it: “An architecture reduced to the masses, to the dialogue of solids and voids; architecture anchored to the ground, as if it were its very fruit”.
van de Velde will live in La Nouvelle Maison until 1947, he is then 84 years old, he leaves for Switzerland where he will end his days.
Nevertheless he will be buried in Tervuren alongside his wife Maria Sethe.
It is a real miracle that this house remained “unspoiled” after van de Velde’s departure.
Nothing has been modified, removed, degraded since the disappearance of the architect.
Some time ago, a couple of German patrons, Thomas and Birgit Rabe, lovers of the Bauhaus and the work of van de Velde, bought the house.
A vast rehabilitation project has been undertaken under the control of the Vlaamse Overheid, the house had already been listed since 1994.
The restoration work visibly respected the conservation of the original plans and all construction elements, in particular the metal frames.
Between 2020 and 2021, the triangular-shaped garden was completely redesigned based on the original plans.
At the time of writing these lines, the restoration is complete, and the house is still uninhabited…
For followers of van De Velde’s modernism, it is worth the trip.
You can admire it from all sides from the two avenues that surround it.
To find it, it’s easy, it is located at the corner formed by Henry van de Veldelaan and Albertlaan, in Tervuren.
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