Located in Brussels’ prestigious Prince d’Orange district in Uccle, the Institute can be found in a house on Avenue de la SapiniÃ¨re 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.
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