Stoclet Palace

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Stoclet Palace
Palais Stoclet (French)
Stocletpaleis (Dutch)
Stoclet Palace Hoffmann Brussels 1911.jpg
Stoclet Palace
Alternative names Stoclet house
General information
Type Private house
Architectural style Vienna Secession
Location Brussels, Belgium
Coordinates 50°50′07″N 4°24′58″E / 50.83528°N 4.41611°E / 50.83528; 4.41611Coordinates: 50°50′07″N 4°24′58″E / 50.83528°N 4.41611°E / 50.83528; 4.41611
Construction started 1905 (1905)
Completed 1911 (1911)
Client Adolphe Stoclet
Design and construction
Architect Josef Hoffmann
Other designers Gustav Klimt, Franz Metzner, Fernand Khnopff
Official name: Stoclet House
Type: Cultural
Criteria: i, ii
Designated: 2009 (33rd session)
Reference No. 1298
State Party:  Belgium
Region: Europe and North America

The Stoclet Palace (French: Palais Stoclet, Dutch: Stocletpaleis) is a private mansion built by architect Josef Hoffmann between 1905 and 1911 in Brussels, Belgium, for banker and art lover Adolphe Stoclet.[1] Considered Hoffman's masterpiece, the Stoclet's house is one of the most refined and luxurious private houses of the twentieth century.[2]

The mansion is still occupied by the Stoclet family and is not open to visitors. It was designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO in June 2009.[3]


Detail of the preparatory design by Gustav Klimt for the mosaic friezes of the main dining room of the Stoclet Palace (Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna).

The Stoclet Palace was commissioned by Adolphe Stoclet (1871-1941), a wealthy industrialist and avid art collector. He chose 35 year old Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956), a founder-member of a radical group of designers and artists who called themselves the Vienna 'Sezession', established in 1897. Hoffman abandoned the fashions and styles that had come before and produced a building of true modernity; an asymmetrical compilation of rectangular blocks, underlined by exaggerated lines and corners.[4]

This no-nonsense starkness is softened by the artistic windows, which break through the line of the eaves, the rooftop conservatory and the bronze sculptures of four nude males by Franz Metzner, which are mounted on the tower that rises above the stairwell. Regimented upright balustrades line the balconies, touched with Art Nouveau ornamentation.[5]

The Stoclet Palace was the first residential project for the Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshops), co-founded by Hoffman in 1903. Josef Hoffman as his colleagues designed every aspect of the mansion, down to the door handles and light fittings. The interior is as spartan as the exterior, with upright geometric furniture and an avoidance of clutter. This was a fashionably avant-garde approach, presenting a 'reformed interior'[6] where functions dictates style. The interior of the building is decorated with marble paneling and artworks,[7] including mosaic friezes[8] by Gustav Klimt and murals by Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel.[9] This integration of architects, artists, and artisans makes Stoclet Palace an example of Gesamtkunstwerk, one of the defining characteristics of Jugendstil. The sketches of Klimt's work for the dining room can be found in the permanent collection of Museum für angewandte Kunst (MAK) in Vienna.

Stoclet Palace was constructed on Avenue de Tervueren, in the municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Brussels.[10] The customary of the view of the house from the Avenue de Tervuren is not of the front of the building, but of the rear. The principle façade is on the other side, with the main entrance set in a portico beneath a concave wall between two trapezoid bays. it looks out over the fountains and formal gardens to lawns and a tennis court.[11] This back to front plan gives the Stoclet Palace an unexpected note of intimacy and privacy that is not discernable from the road. Adolphe Stoclet had originally wanted the Avenue de Tervuren to be named after him, but when the promise of this was not realised he turned his back on the street.[12] This character seems to have remained with the building, when after cases of pilfering, the house was closed to the public.


  1. ^ Sharp 2002, p. 44
  2. ^ Watkin 2005, p. 548
  3. ^ "Stoclet House". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. July 4, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  4. ^ "70 Wonders of the Modern World". Reader's Digest, 1998, p. 1.
  5. ^ Freytag 2010, p. 347
  6. ^ John Parker
  7. ^ Sembach 2002, p. 225
  8. ^ Freytag 2010, p. 366
  9. ^ The Renaissance Society, Modern Austrian Painting
  10. ^ Fletcher 1996, p. 1072
  11. ^ Honnef 2000, p. 754
  12. ^ This contradicts what is being said about the building and the supposed attitude of Stoclet in the French version of Wikipedia. None of the statements has documented sources.


Further reading[edit]

  • Kurrent, Friedrich; Strobl, Alice (1991). Das Palais Stoclet in Brüssel (in German). Salzburg: Verlag Galerie Welz. ISBN 3-85349-162-6. 
  • Noever, Peter (2006). Yearning for Beauty: the Wiener Werkstätte and the Stoclet House. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Publishers. ISBN 3-7757-1778-1. 
  • Sekler, Eduard F. (1967). Rudolf Wittkower, ed. The Stoclet House by Joseph Hoffmann. Essays in the History of Architecture. London: Phaidon. OCLC 82161568. 
  • Sekler, Eduard F. (1985). Josef Hoffmann : the architectural work : monograph and catalogue of works. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-06572-4. 
  • Klimt, Gustav (2012). Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Beate Murr, ed. Gustav Klimt: Erwartung und Erfüllung: Entwürfde zum Mosaikfries im Palais Stoclet [Expectation and fulfillment: cartoons for the mosaic frieze at Stoclet House] (in German and English). Ostfildern: Hatje/Cantz. ISBN 978-3-7757-3305-2. 
  • Weidinger, Alfred (2011). "100 Years of Palais Stoclet - New Information on the Genesis of Gustav Klimt´s Construction and Interior Decoration". In Husslein-Arco, Agnes. Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. Pioneers of Modernism. Munich: Prestel. pp. 204–251. ISBN 978-3-7913-5149-0. 

External links[edit]