Bruxellensis Urbanus Hortus

 © Schoonbrodt
© Schoonbrodt

When the Schoonbrodt-Clotuche family took possession of their house in the Beguinage area, the surrounding built environment was virtually derelict. The heart of the block formed by Rue du Grand Hospice, Rue de l’Infirmerie and Rue du Béguinage was filled by dilapidated buildings: former warehouses, a garage and more, totalling 163 m².

What was to be done with it:  turn it into a car park (everyone wanted one in the 1970s) or a garden? The family decided to go for a garden, a decision supported by the City of Brussels and its social services. And so the adventure began. What type of garden? The family had only modest skills. Somewhat timidly, they approached architect Jacques Wirtz, who was immediately enthusiastic. From then on, everything fell into place: the buildings were razed, the soil was replaced, a gate was create, the plots were staked out. The garden was inaugurated in 1999. In 2019 artist Bernard Villers added a sculpture to the natural environment, bringing a splash of colour to the surrounding green. And the goldfish continue to live in their pond.

What impact has the garden had? It has helped to both regenerate the town centre and, in a way that was not consciously planned at the outset, to fight global warming. For neighbours, it is a small window onto beauty. In 2023 the park was awarded the ‘Coup de cœur’ of the Comte Thierry de Looz-Corswarem Prize for the social scope of the project.

Sunday, June 30, 2024
Type of visit
Self-guided visit
10:00 > 13:00 | 14:00 > 17:00
rue du béguinage, 7
1000 Brussels