Sunday 21 June 2020 (t.b.c.)
From 9h00 to 14h00
Van Buuren Museum & Gardens
41 avenue Léo Errera, 1180 Bruxelles
The Alice and David Van Buuren museum in Brussels is located in the house of the patron Van Buuren couple. The house was originally a private residence built by the Dutch banker and art collector David van Buuren and his wife Alice. It is built in the typical Amsterdam style, although the inside of the house shows a rich Art Deco interior by Dutch, Belgian and French designers.
The Art Deco structure, carefully designed down to the smallest detail, presents an impressive collection of paintings by renowned artists from the 16th century to the 20th century: the entourage of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, James Ensor, Henri Fantin-Latour, Constant Permeke, and Gustave van de Woestyne.
The date for this event is to be confirmed, and depends on the corona-virus situation.
Until then you can pre-reserve your spot and we’ll get back to you whenever we know more.
What is included in this visit?
- Museum entrance fees
- Professionally guided tour on the origins of life
- Tour of the gardens
- Free time
- Morning coffee
- Great group of international people
- A lifetime expat memory
Who can join?
Expat Club events are attended by singles, couples, retirees, groups of friends or colleagues, and families. We welcome people from all over the world with a wide variety of backgrounds. Expat Club Membership is not required to join this visit.
How to add a child ticket?
Expat Club loves welcoming young expats, too! If you want to bring your child(ren) up until 18 years, please first add the regular adult ticket(s) to the cart and then go to the cart page. On the cart page, there is a child ticket available for [price to be announced].
As with any Expat Club event, our schedule is carefully designed so you can enjoy the visit to the Van Buuren Museum and have time to get to know the other people in the group. To that end, we also organise a welcome coffee at just 5-6 minutes walking from the museum, as well as a lunch afterwards. Note, all times below are tentative and depend on availability at the house. We can only confirm this later.
09h00 – Welcome coffee in L’Atelier Vanderkindere
10h00 – Walk to the Van Buuren Museum
10h15 – Guided tour inside the House and Gardens
12h00 – End of the visit
12h30 – Lunch at Restaurant O Liban Restaurant
Van Buuren Museum
The museum was set up in the actual house where the Van Buurens lived and was named after them. David, of Dutch origin, came to Brussels in 1909. His financial career coincided with the world’s greatest social, political and economic events of the 20th century. He married the Belgian, Alice Piette, ushering in thirty years of happiness and devotion to culture with their Art Deco villa.
As a patron of the arts, David supported all causes, a mission that was continued by Alice until the creation in 1970 of their private foundation, to which she left the house, works of art and gardens in her will: it is this that constitutes the museum, the realization of the Founders’ dream.
Construction of the house began in 1924 and was completed in 1928. David Van Buuren drew up the plans himself with his nephew. Architects Léon Govaerts and Alexis Van Vaerenbergh made them a reality. The exterior design of the house of patron banker David Van Buuren is typical of the Amsterdam School, while the interior decoration forms a unique Art Deco ensemble created by Belgian, French and Dutch interior designers. The Van Buurens transformed their villa into a “living conservatory”, in which rare furniture, rugs, stained glass windows, sculptures and paintings by international masters have been left untouched in their original places in the intimate setting of a private “house of memory”, which became a museum in 1975 in accordance with the testamentary wishes of Alice Van Buuren.
David Van Buuren was an enthusiast of the “total art” concept of the Amsterdam School. This designation encompassed architects and designers who came together between 1910 and 1930. They created a style of architecture and decorative arts situated somewhere between Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Their aesthetic remained very understated compared to what was being done abroad. The house was designed in the style of the Dutch villas of the time: asymmetrical façades with different levels, covered in red hollow-pointed hand-made bricks arranged in a subtle interplay of lines. The cornices are overhanging, the window frames project outwards, the gables are pointed and the roofs sloping.
From their initial 26 ares in 1924, the gardens now extend over an area of 1.2 hectares. There is a unity of style and period between the section designed by Jules Buyssens and the Art Deco house. 45 years later, Alice conceived the gardens of René Pechère as an addition to the villa.
Once completed, the park consisted of 6 spaces that can be visited all year round.
– the Picturesque Garden
– the Rose Garden
– the Large Rose Garden
– the Labyrinth
– the Garden of the Heart
– the Orchard
Below a flower-covered wall, Jules Buyssens laid out a Large Rose Garden on a former tennis court. With a passion for roses, Alice Van Buuren was personally responsible for the selection and location of the plantations. Everything was carefully written down in her notebooks. The pavilion at the bottom of the Rose Garden dates from the late 1930s. It was the venue for numerous receptions and shows organized by the Van Buurens. At the time of David’s death in 1955, the gardens stopped at the romantic pergola in the Rose Garden. The Picturesque Garden, with its poetic and spontaneous atmosphere, is now framed by two structured, geometric rose beds.
During our guided visit a professional expert guide will explain us all about the history of the house, the art inside, the art deco designs and of course the Van Buuren couple. It’s a big house, but not a big museum. Still, you will be totally amazed with all the amazing works of art, the incredible design and the stories. We did this several times in the early years of Expat Club and cannot wait to go back.
Once we finished our tour through the house, we will get an introduction to the gardens, after which you are free to enjoy the various parts on your own. We are convinced, also base on our previous experiences, that you will be very happy you joined us on this special visit and that you have again discovered another unique part of Brussels.
Before visiting the museum, we will all meet up at l’Atelier Vanderkindere to enjoy a breakfast or just a coffee together. It definitely is the best way to start the day and to meet the other participants. L’Atelier Vanderkindere is a charming coffee spot on the intersection of Avenue Brugmann and Rue Vanderkindere. They have a large choice of coffees and pastries to light up your morning! After the coffee, we will walk to the museum together, which is only a short walk.
After visiting the museum, we thought it would be nice to enjoy a bit more time together so we have decided to organise a super nice Lebanese lunch for you. This will take place at O Liban, a Lebanese restaurant that serves simply delicious dishes. O Liban is first and foremost the story of one man, Mike Nassar. The dynamic Lebanese, born in Beirut to a Bekaa family, spent his childhood in his father’s shop, a caterer, baker, and butcher in Beirut.
Mike dreams of creating his own business and he opens a bakery-pastry shop in 2005 in Brussels. In 2009, his first restaurant-caterer opened: 15,000 Lebanese live in the Belgian capital and the business is going well, with numerous orders in receptions and cattering. This led him to open a first “O Liban” with his brother Mansour and the help of chef Nabih El Ahmadie in the district of La Bascule. Since then, a success that continues.
Expat Club has been here several times in the past, and we cannot wait to go back there.
Let’s enjoy a succulent lunch at his place!
Text source & pictures: © Van Buuren Museum