Victor — Brussels, Belgium
The latest phase in the ongoing revival of Brussels’ Bozar Centre for Fine Arts is the launch of its street-facing café, Victor.
Once again led by Gent-based Robbrecht and Daem - also behind the overhaul of the building’s Henri Le Boeuf concert hall in 2015 - the firm has applied a similar marriage of architecture and interior design to the sleek space that frequently references and incorporates both the Belgian’s distinct style and the centre’s original art deco features. Case in point, circular chandeliers, created for Victor Horta, the architect who designed the building in 1928, and after whom the restaurant is named, are merged with dark-green granite counters and banquette seating, that both smoothly harmonise with the green linoleums and natural stone introduced to the space by Horta himself.
Previously home to Bozar’s bookshop and a broadcasting studio, the café has now been opened up into a larger, airier space. Three hand-embroidered curtains designed by artist Valérie Mannaerts dramatically section the café, clearly marking each area and imparting a sense of mystery to every corner. Entitled ‘Pleasure in Making (Curtain for Bozar)’, the drapes feature a different pattern on each side, introducing an exciting medley of shape, colour and spontaneity into the room. It’s a grand experience and an apt backdrop for a leisurely coffee or gluten-free dessert following one of Bozar’s many cultural events.