Weekend in Brussels

Following a trip to Brussels, Belgium, Design Clarity would like to share with you some of the highlights of the weekend.

In the trendy Saint-Gilles quarter, we came across the Pantone Hotel.
Evidently COLOUR dominates the design, from the stained glass exterior balconies to the bright and eclectic furniture in the entrance lounge. The hotel, heavily branded, showcases an impressive extension of the brand, in particular throughout the colour-coded bedroom, suiting every mood & desire.

Not too far from there, the famous Victor Horta house & workshop is open to the public. Dated from the late 19th century, the architecture and furniture displayed are both beautiful examples of Art Nouveau. The interior is divided into “semi-levels”, all radiating from the impressive spiral staircase. Horta created his house in pure Art Nouveau style, from the exterior facade to the doorknobs, to the glass atrium to the metal ornaments.

During some retail therapy, (of course!) Design Clarity stumbled across Urban Outfitters. Located in an enormous town mansion, the interior is
breathtaking. Original features have been retained including marble floors, the staircase, high ceilings, grand timber entry doors and façade windows, create a retail experience that goes beyond expectations. The product display housed on raw scaffolding encapsulates the essence of the brand. Like trends, it has a young and “on the move” feel but more importantly it “respects” the space by only touching it very sporadically. The contrast between the old & exuberant town mansion and the ephemeral & simple product displays is really striking.

Finally, a visit to Brussels wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the very popular comic book tradition. Some of the most famous characters were born Belgium. Tintin, for instance, was created here under Herge’s pen before reaching Hollywood more recently. As part of this tradition, a museum dedicated to comic books is located within one of Horta’s Art Nouveau style house. Also, scattered around town, giant & colourful murals ornate wall with famous characters. If you are ever in town, be on the lookout for those hidden treasures…