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Hôtel Wielemans to become business club for adjacent Louise tower
The Wielemans Hôtel on Rue Defacqz in Brussels could be restored to its former Art Deco glory by German real estate fund Patrizia, if permits are approved by a consultation committee on Tuesday.
Patrizia is currently renovating the ex-Generali Tower (now The Louise), Bruzz reports, but also wants to restore the Wielemans Hôtel and its gardens, which would be connected to the tower for additional office space.
“The idea is to set up a business club and exclusive meeting rooms there for the people who work in the tower,” explained Suzy Denys, country manager for Patrizia.
The gardens of The Louise would link to those of the hotel with a passageway created in the separating wall.
Denys emphasised that the building would not undergo any structural changes: “Thus, the Art Deco bedroom and bathroom will be preserved.”
Art Deco with Spanish-Moorish influences
The Wielemans Hotel was designed in 1925 by architect Adrien Blomme for the famous industrialist and brewer Léon Wielemans. The mansion was to be a present for his wife Yvonne who was passionate about Spain, so the couple took Blomme on a trip to Granada where the architect made his first sketches for their future Brussels home inspired by the décor of the Alhambra.
Constructed in Art Deco style with Hispano-Moorish influences, including thousands of ceramic tiles imported from Andalucía, the building was long used as a private residence before being bought in the mid-1990s by insurance company Generali Belgium.
Generali had commissioned architects André and Jean Polak 30 years earlier to build the 24-storey Generali Tower on the corner of Avenue Louise, next door to the hotel. It was one of the first towers in Brussels to exceed 80 metres in height. The insurance company also restored the Wielemans Hotel, turning it into an exhibition and art space.
In 2019, Generali Belgium became part of Athora Holding and that group sold the tower and the Wielemans House to Patrizia, which renamed the tower The Louise. It immediately embarked on the large-scale renovation which has been ongoing for months now.
As part of the renovation, the facades will be completely renewed and the building will be brought up to current standards of comfort and energy efficiency.
Photo (main image): Hôtel Wielemans (c) Patrizia