The most extravagant and astonishing example of Brussels Art Nouveau is undoubtedly Saint Cyr House, with its magnificent ironwork as its most striking feature. Masterfully decorated with abundant and lush use of glass and iron on the very narrow four-metre wide façade, the house is an unmistakable eye-catcher.
It was built between 1900 and 1903 as the home of painter and decorator Léonard de Saint-Cyr and was designed by Brussels architect Gustave Strauwen, a pupil of Victor Horta, at the age of just 21.
In 1967, the chief architect of the City of Brussels said of the facade: "It lacks the unity so necessary for any work of art; the different elements clash and give an impression of disorganised and inharmonious fantasy, further accentuated by the presence of an external staircase of dubious taste". Six years later, opinions still had not changed: "it is a tumultuous work, of disconcerting proportions, which reminds one more of a theatre set than of a serious, ordered and logical architectural ensemble", concluded the Commission Royale des Monuments et Sites (Royal Commission for Monuments and Sites).
Location: Square Ambiorix - Ambiorixsquare, 11, 1000 Brussels