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the house and gardens | Projects

Located in Brussels’ prestigious Prince d’Orange district in Uccle, the Institute can be found in a house on Avenue de la Sapinière with the symbolic name of “Clairval”.

Built for the Brussels exchange merchant Grunewald by Belgian architect Antoine Pompe (a student of Victor Horta) between 1924 and 1926, the house is a typical example of pre-war Bauhaus architecture. Both the interior and exterior of the house are listed. Bricks, horizontal windows supported by concrete window headers, wooden cladding, pointed roofs nodding at Flemish or Anglo-Norman architecture and flat roofing all make this building a fascinating object of study and place to visit. These features are also a perfect illustration of its purpose of housing a collection of Japanese popular art embodying simplicity, authenticity and minimalism.

The gardens planted with majestic decorative trees date back to the construction of the house and even feature certain Japanese-style varieties. Spanning 80 ares, the park slopes strongly and will be partially turned into a Japanese garden designed by young landscape architects in an international competition.