Bike tour through Uccle: modernist architecture

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© visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Remy
Published at 08/03/2021
By Mylène

Every year, spring is synonymous with initiative... and not just because exercise is one of our good intentions! Every year, and perhaps more than ever this year, the first signs of spring makes us long for a new beginning, full of discoveries and challenges. This week we're doing something really special: a bike ride along the most beautiful modernist buildings of Uccle. An architectural trail along numerous dream homes with modernist linework. Brush the dust off your bike and ride along the streets of Brussels with us!

Duration of the tour > about 35 minutes

Brussels/Uccle modernist architecture - Raphaël Delville, Maison des Terrasses, 1935 (c) Jean-Paul Remy

La Maison des Terrasses, a modernist gem

Our bike tour starts at the Maison des Terrasses, which was designed in 1935 by Raphaël Delville, an architect from Saint-Gilles. With its pure lines, devoid of any frills, this house perfectly embodies the modernist style of the thirties. The three terraces make you long for endless summer evenings and give the house a certain stratification. The interweaving of shapes and volumes and the clean lines are reminiscent of a three-dimensional cubist work!

Avenue de L’échevinage, 16

Itinerary

Brussels/ Uccle modernist architecture - Louis Tenaerts, Avenue Coghen 40 et 42, 1933 (c) Jean Paul Rémy

Shipshape, Coghenlaan

In the Coghenlaan we stop at number 68, another modernist creation. The white facade is decorated with an abstract stained-glass window. For this house, inspiration was drawn from the so-called packet boat style: by using curved lines and exploiting the height, the building looks a bit like a ship (also reminiscent of the Flagey building). This house is the work of the modernist architect Louis Tenaerts, who was particularly active in the neighbourhood with several projects on the Coghenlaan. He was also involved in the design of the houses at numbers 28, 40 and 42.

Rue Coghen, 68

Itinerary

La Maison de Verre, seen the light?

Then take rue Vanderkindere, towards one of the most iconic residences of modernist Brussels: La Maison de Verre. Decidedly avant-garde, it was designed in 1935 by a young, recently graduated architect, Paul Amaury Michel. Following Le Corbusier's example, the windows were decompartmentalised in order to let in as much light as possible. Also pay attention to the impressive roof terrace: the way the open and closed part merge into each other is amazing.

Rue Jules Lejeune, 69

Itinerary

Brussels/Uccle modernist architecture - Van Buuren Museum and Gardens © Visit Brussels - Jean-Paul Remy

An extraordinary garden

We admit that we deviate from modernism here, but it's best to get off your bike at the next address as well. Stretch your legs and give your eyes a feast in the gardens of the Museum Van Buuren. Among the roses, the orchard and the remarkable trees hang outdoor sculptures that give a contemporary twist to the place. Major artists such as Anthony Caro, Pol Bury and Bob Verschueren have been exhibited here. A refreshing cocktail of modern art and art deco! Those in the mood for a green stroll can then head to Brugmann Park, close to the beautiful Museum Van Buuren.

Discover the current exhibitions at the Museum van Buuren

Avenue Léo Errera, 411

Itinerary

Everaert House, minimalist modern

The imposing line work and the dazzling white facade of Everaert House, with its single vertical window, is a paragon of minimalism. The architect Jacques Dupuis was inspired by the Scandinavian aesthetics of simplicity and purity. Some striking details characterise the house: the asymmetrical front door (reminiscent of Tim Burton's decors) and the almost sculptural canopy. The gently sloping roof provides a final slanting line that contributes to the dynamics and lightness of the house.

Avenue de Sumatra, 8

Itinerary

Brussels/Uccle modernist architecture - Louis-Herman De Koninck, Villa Berteaux 1937 (c) Jean-Paul Remy

Villa Berteaux, the ultimate dream home

We conclude in beauty with Villa Berteaux. Cycle about fifteen minutes in the direction of the Fort-Jacolaan, via the Eikenlaan and the Waterloosesteenweg. This villa in packet boat style dates from 1937. The metal balustrades, banded windows and wide terraces are reminiscent of a transatlantic steamship of yesteryear. A resemblance that is only reinforced by the details: three small portholes in the facade and the chimney of the fireplace, which rises up like a mast. And the crowning glory? Without a doubt the roof terrace! How wonderful it must be, on sunny days on deck, in a lounger with a drink in your hand...

Avenue du Fort Jaco, 59

Itinerary

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