Re-visiting St-Georges Gallery of Xavier Hufkens in Brussels

Summer 2022

In 1992, I photographed the new gallery of Xavier Hufkens in Brussels: a conversion of a classical Brussels mansion into a gallery designed by Robbrecht en Daem. Three decades later, in 2022 I re-visit the gallery to photograph the new building. A building where scale, light and proportion are challenging on every level.

The new building is a monolithic figure, a seemingly simple stack of concrete volumes, which connects to the existing ‘maison de maître’. There is both an architectural dialogue and a confrontation. The entire design fosters a close connection between the existing and the new. The floor levels are aligned so that a 'promenade architecturale' can run through both parts of the building. The interaction between the new building and the existing building creates a Pleiades of different spaces with museum-like proportions in the new building and room-like dimensions in the mansion. This multiplicity of scales corresponds to the multiplicity of manifestations in art, from a monumental painting, a sculpture or an installation to the intimacy of a print. The cascading stacked structure of the new architecture creates zenithal light openings on each floor, giving each room its own identity. A variety of light incidence creates a wide range of experiences. Art always relates to this in a new way. (from the website robbrechtendaem.com)