Art & Build oversees the restoration of the Hôtel Dewez, an 18th century mansion which today houses the Belgian Museum of Free Masonry (rue de Laeken, Brussels). This restoration project, requiring rigourous adherance to the existing design, was executed in collaboration with the Institut Royal pour le Patrimoine Artistique and the Direction régionale des Monuments et Sites. The programme includes contemporary art exhibition spaces such as the central courtyard featuring a lightweight glazed roof.
The principal creation of the architects was the large atrium that provides a forum and reception area and increases the museum space. It utilises an area between the farthest end of the Palais Royal and the rear of the buildings on the Place Royale. The intelligent proportions of the glass panels, assembled using a lightweight structure, succeed in ensuring an attractive integration into the classical architectural form.
Many sites close to the Brussels South Station and the Paris-Brussels line are losing their industrial heritage for good, opening up to new activities. With the demolition of the vast Wielemans-Ceuppens brewery, the only building to be left standing was the brewing hall containing the large copper vats. This original masterwork, by the architect Adrien Blomme, merited painstaking restoration respecting the spatial and technical qualities of the original building.
This museum has an ambitious theme : to suggest the coming together of the knowledge and philosophical values that provide the basis for the practice of medicine. Attention naturally turned to the creation of a significant piece of architecture that would assemble spaces and refer to human knowledge, ideas or symbols. The logic of the Golden number and the forms at the basis of Euclidian architecture guided the creation of the first building with a lecture theatre in the form of a hemicycle, an octagonal office, a circular staircase and so forth.