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Renovation completed on 14th-century Rouge-Cloître priory building

14:42 20/10/2021

The oldest surviving building on the Rouge-Cloître site in Auderghem has been given a new lease of life, with a complete restoration launched by the Brussels region and led by architectural offices Origin and LD2.

With its historical buildings, lakes, and beautiful location on the edge of the Sonian Forest in Auderghem, Rouge-Cloître, an Augustinian priory founded in 1367, is a favorite excursion for the people of Brussels.

After having been vacant for 20 years, the prior's house, built during the 14th and 15th centuries and transformed in the 17th and 18th centuries, has now been fully renovated.

This was a complex project with the many constraints due to not only the landmark status of the buildings but also the Natura 2000 environmental protections of the site including such biodiversity issues as the wellbeing of the bats that nest in the attic.

Origin and LD2 were able to preserve and restore all the heritage and architectural remains of the building, such as the facades, the interior, the roof, the floor, the partitions upstairs and the remarkable ogival bay windows, outstanding elements of the old cloister gallery.

The new restaurant area on the ground floor and the new terrace were carefully designed to preserve all the authentic elements.

"This is an iconic project that is coming to fruition," said Brussels secretary of state for heritage, Pascal Smet. "It was essential to revive this place while respecting its past and its history."

"Twenty years of vacancy may seem short for a building that has more than six centuries of history and which is one of the most remarkable examples of our municipal heritage," said Auderghem mayor Didier Gosuin. "But for the people of Auderghem, I can assure you that it has been a long wait, so we won't hide our pleasure.

"After another long wait, we have just received the town planning permit for the renovation of the buildings that the municipality occupies on the site, including the farm and the barn. Soon, Rouge-Cloître will have regained all its former glory."

Written by Richard Harris