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Stoclet Palace

Coordinates: 50°50′07″N 4°24′58″E / 50.83528°N 4.41611°E / 50.83528; 4.41611
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Stoclet Palace
The Stoclet Palace seen from the Avenue de Tervueren/Tervurenlaan
Alternative namesStoclet House
General information
TypePrivate house
Architectural styleVienna Secession
AddressAvenue de Tervueren / Tervurenlaan 279–281
Town or city1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Brussels-Capital Region
Coordinates50°50′07″N 4°24′58″E / 50.83528°N 4.41611°E / 50.83528; 4.41611
Construction started1905 (1905)
Completed1911 (1911)
ClientAdolphe Stoclet
OwnerStoclet family
Design and construction
Architect(s)Josef Hoffmann
Other designersGustav Klimt, Franz Metzner, Fernand Khnopff
Official nameStoclet House
Criteriai, ii
Designated2009 (33rd session)
Reference no.1298
RegionEurope and North America

The Stoclet Palace (French: Palais Stoclet, French pronunciation: [palɛ stɔklɛ]; Dutch: Stocletpaleis, Dutch pronunciation: [stɔˈklɛ.paːˈlɛi̯s]) is a mansion in Brussels, Belgium. It was designed by the Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann for the Belgian financier Adolphe Stoclet. Built between 1905 and 1911 in the Vienna Secession style, it is located at 279–281, avenue de Tervueren/Tervurenlaan, in the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre municipality of Brussels.[2] Considered Hoffman's masterpiece, the residence is one of the 20th century's most refined and luxurious private houses.[3]

The sumptuous dining and music rooms of the Stoclet Palace exemplified the theatrical spaces of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), celebrating sight, sound, and taste in a symphony of sensual harmonies that paralleled the operas of Richard Wagner, from whom the concept originated. In his designs for the Stoclet Palace, Hoffmann was particularly attuned to fashion and to the Viennese identity of the new style of interior, even designing a dress for Madame Stoclet so that she would not clash with her living room decor as she had while wearing a French Paul Poiret gown.[4]

The mansion is owned by the Stoclet family and is not open to visitors. Until recently no outsider, not even experts helping with restoration were allowed in.[5] The building has received protected status by the Monuments and Sites Directorate of the Brussels-Capital Region,[1] and it was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2009.[6]


Detail of the preparatory design by Gustav Klimt for the mosaic friezes of the main dining room of the Stoclet Palace (Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna)

The Stoclet Palace was commissioned by Adolphe Stoclet (1871–1949), a wealthy Belgian financier and art collector. He chose 35-year-old Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956), who was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, a radical group of designers and artists established in 1897. Hoffman abandoned fashions and styles of the past and produced a building that is an asymmetrical compilation of rectangular blocks, underlined by exaggerated lines and corners.[7]

The starkness of the exterior is softened by artistic windows, which break through the line of the eaves, the rooftop conservatory, and 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.[8]

The Stoclet Palace was the first residential project for the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops), co-founded by Hoffman in 1903. Josef Hoffman and his colleagues designed every aspect of the mansion, down to the door handles and light fittings. The interior is as austere and at the same time detailed as the exterior, with upright geometrically coordinated furniture and minimal clutter. This was an avant-garde approach, presenting a 'reformed interior'[9] where function dictated form. The interior of the building is decorated with marble paneling and artworks,[10] including large mosaic friezes[11] by painter Gustav Klimt (designed by him and implemented on location by Leopold Forstner[12]) and murals by Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel [de].[13] The integration of architects, artists, and artisans makes the Stoclet Palace an example of a Gesamtkunstwerk, one of the defining characteristics of Art Nouveau. Klimt's sketches for the dining room are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna.

The Stoclet Palace is located at 279–281, avenue de Tervueren/Tervurenlaan, in the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre municipality of Brussels.[14] The building was designed to appear from the road as a stately city mansion. Seen from the garden at the back the Stoclet Palace "becomes a villa suburbana with its rear façade sculpturally modelled by bay windows, balconies and terraces" in the words of architectural historian Annette Freytag, which gave the Stoclet family a building with "all the advantages of a comfortable urban mansion and a country house at the same time."[15]

Adolphe Stoclet died in 1949, and the mansion was inherited by his daughter-in-law Annie Stoclet. Following Annie's death in 2002, the house was inherited by her four daughters.[16] The Stoclet Palace has never been open to the public. Press reports have described the mansion as being looked after by two caretakers while there is dissension between Stoclet's four granddaughters as to the future of the Stoclet Palace.[16][17]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (2016). "Palais Stoclet" (in French). Brussels. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  2. ^ Sharp 2002, p. 44
  3. ^ Watkin 2005, p. 548
  4. ^ Intimus : interior design theory reader. Taylor, Mark, 1955-, Preston, Julieanna. Chichester: John Wiley. 2006. ISBN 9780470015704. OCLC 63397636.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ Wise, Michael Z. (1 February 2012). "An Enchanted House Becomes a Family's Curse". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Stoclet House". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  7. ^ "70 Wonders of the Modern World". Reader's Digest, 1998, p. 1.
  8. ^ Freytag 2010, p. 347
  9. ^ John Parker
  10. ^ Sembach 2002, p. 225
  11. ^ Freytag 2010, p. 366
  12. ^ "Palais Stoclet ist Weltkulturerbe". www.oe24.at. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  13. ^ The Renaissance Society, Modern Austrian Painting Archived 2012-04-06 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Fletcher 1996, p. 1072
  15. ^ Freytag, Annette, "The Stoclet Frieze" in Natter 2012, pp. 103–104
  16. ^ a b Baring, Louis, Charles (10 February 2007). "Glimpse into Klimt's hidden dream world". Telegraph. Retrieved 24 July 2014.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Wise, Michael (1 February 2012). "An Enchanted House Becomes a Family's Curse". WSJ. Retrieved 23 July 2014.


Further reading[edit]

  • Dumoulin, Michel (2010). Les Stoclet. Microcosme d'ambitions et de passions (in French). Brussels: Le Cri. ISBN 9782871065654.
  • Kurrent, Friedrich; Strobl, Alice (1991). Das Palais Stoclet in Brüssel (in German). Salzburg: Verlag Galerie Welz. ISBN 978-3-85349-162-1.
  • Noever, Peter (2006). Yearning for Beauty: the Wiener Werkstätte and the Stoclet House. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Publishers. ISBN 978-3-7757-1778-6.
  • 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; Beate Murr (eds.). 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 (ed.). Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. Pioneers of Modernism. Munich: Prestel. pp. 204–251. ISBN 978-3-7913-5149-0.

External links[edit]