Josaphat school complex (fully booked)
Seeing that Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek’s original School No. 1 had fallen into a state of disrepair, alderman Auguste Reyers suggested that a new school be built. His proposal was approved and the project was put in the hands of Henri Jacobs, one of the few Art Nouveau architects to focus almost exclusively on public buildings. Work began in 1903 and the complex, which is still in use today, was officially opened in 1907. When building the new school, Jacobs had to find a way of dealing with the 12-metre height difference between the two ends of the site, in Rue Josaphat/Josaphatstraat and Rue de la Ruche/Bijenkorfstraat. His finished design included 18 ordinary classrooms, three classrooms set aside for pupils who had chosen not to attend secondary or technical school but were still to complete compulsory education, a physics laboratory, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a craft room, a fully-equipped medical office, a public library and a reading room – in all, 91 rooms for the use of the teaching staff and the school’s 1,000 pupils, plus two playgrounds. Jacobs took special care over the complex’s decor, skilfully combining a range of materials such as red brick, white enamelled brick, blue limestone, grey marble, cast iron and other ironwork and stained glass to create the vibrant colour effects that embellish the building’s floors and walls. He also called on the talent of Henri Privat-Livemont, who produced multiple sgraffito panels to decorate this veritable ‘palace’ of education. These elegant creations made for an attractive addition to the many allegorical paintings and sculptures already adorning the building. (Listed since 2 April 1999)
Guided tours, Saturday and Sunday at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 and 17:00 (French), 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30 and 17:30 (Dutch). In cooperation with Pro Velo and Klare Lijn.
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 18:00
Rue Josaphat/Josaphatstraat 229 and Rue de la Ruche/Bijenkorfstraat 30, Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek
Guided tours only – advance booking required