Palais Stoclet (in French)
Stocletpaleis (in Dutch)
|Alternative names||Stoclet house|
|Architectural style||Vienna Secession|
|Location||Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Brussels, Belgium|
|Design and construction|
|Other designers||Gustav Klimt, Franz Metzner, Fernand Khnopff|
|Official name||Stoclet House|
|Designated||2009 (33rd session)|
|Region||Europe and North America|
The Stoclet Palace (French: Palais Stoclet, Dutch: Stocletpaleis) is a mansion in Brussels, Belgium. It was built by architect Josef Hoffmann for banker and art lover Adolphe Stoclet between 1905 and 1911 and is located in the Sint-Pieters-Woluwe / Woluwe-Saint-Pierre area of Brussels. Considered Hoffman's masterpiece, the Stoclet's house is one of the most refined and luxurious private houses of the twentieth century. The sumptuous dining and music rooms of the Stoclet Palace exemplified the theatrical spaces of the Gesamtkunstwerk, 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.
The Stoclet Palace was commissioned by Adolphe Stoclet (1871-1949), a wealthy industrialist and art collector. He chose 35-year-old Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956), a founder 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.
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.
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 spartan as the exterior, with upright geometric furniture and minimal clutter. This was an avant-garde approach, presenting a 'reformed interior' where function dictated form. The interior of the building is decorated with marble paneling and artworks, including mosaic friezes by Gustav Klimt (designed by Klimt and carried out by Leopold Forstner)and murals by Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel. The integration of architects, artists, and artisans makes Stoclet Palace an example of a Gesamtkunstwerk, one of the defining characteristics of Jugendstil. Klimt's sketches for the dining room are in the permanent collection of the Museum für angewandte Kunst (MAK) in Vienna.
The Stoclet Palace is on Avenue de Tervueren in the municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Brussels. 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." 
Adolphe Stoclet died in 1949, and the house was inherited by his daughter-in-law Annie Stoclet. Following Annie's death in 2002, the house was inherited by her four daughters. The Palais Stoclet is currently not open to the public. Press reports have described the house as being looked after by two caretakers while there is dissension between Stoclet's four granddaughters as to the future of the Palais Stoclet.
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