Listed Art Deco masterpiece in Koekelberg on sale for €2.45 million
One of Brussels’ architectural jewels, the former home of Koekelberg mayor Oscar Bossaert, has been placed on the property market with an asking price of €2.45 million.
The unique Art Deco period house is prominently positioned on the corner of Avenue du Panthéon and Avenue de la Liberté, overlooking the northern suburb green space of Elisabeth Park.
When the property was listed in 2022, the Brussels Region praised the splendour of its interior, reports RTBF. The 1,100m2 living space is spread over five levels and includes 10 bedrooms.
Designed by architect Albert Callewaert, it was built in 1930 for Bossaert (1887-1956), a former footballer (12 caps for the Belgian Red Devils), who took over the family biscuit and chocolate factory Victoria in the early 1920s.
In 1927, the liberal industrialist entered politics, and like his father, became mayor of Koekelberg. His ongoing passion for football led to his appointment in 1928 as president of the Daring football club. Its stadium bore his name until 1973. Bossaert’s political ambitions saw him become a senator in 1939 and a government minister in 1954 under Achille Van Acker’s government.
This illustrious career resulted in the commissioning of a prestigious house on the residential site in Koekelberg. Callewaert was the architect who had designed the Duden Park football stadium, home to Daring's sporting rival, Union Saint-Gilloise.
The Art Deco facade of Bossaert’s new home reflected the architectural style then in fashion. It’s characterised by the generous use of white stone framing its windows as well as large skylights. Despite the location on the corner of two avenues, the street names were engraved in stone rather than besmirch the elegant facades with traditional signs.
Charles Stepman was responsible for the interior design, which "is characterised by the use of noble and high quality materials, in the purest spirit of the Art Deco style: a harmonious and elegant blend of various types of wood, marble and ironwork, noted Urban.brussels, when it was classified in 2022.
The town planning heritage service added that, unusually, the villa retained its original kitchen and bathroom fittings. They contributed to its “exceptional value” as a prime example of the bourgeois way of life during the interwar period.
Urban.brussels explained that in the triangular plan, the rooms were designed to benefit from the light they needed according to their function. The main staircase and entrance hall received natural light from a wide and high window on the first floor. The living room was illuminated by a wide two-bay window on Avenue du Panthéon. A garden attached to the property is similarly arranged in a triangular form, and is also listed.
After Bossaert’s death in 1956, the house was sold, and later converted into offices. The last known sale dates from 2014. Due to its authentic period interior, the house frequently serves as a location for film and TV series shoots, including the current Flemish series Alter Ego.
The municipality of Koekelberg recognises the heritage value of the Art Deco jewel, but is unable to raise the funds to buy it due to other development projects, said mayor Ahmed Laaouej (PS). He called on other public authorities, such as the Brussels Region, "which have means larger than ours,” to purchase the property.
“I believe that it would have its place in the public heritage in general. And maybe this would be an opportunity to develop cultural activities of another nature... and make the property accessible to as many people as possible."
Photos: Immo Lierman