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The Joseph Lemaire Sanatorium in Belgium: A Forgotten Modern Masterpiece

Journal: Athens Journal of Architecture (Vol.3, No. 1)

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Page : 41-62

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The Joseph Lemaire Sanatorium, completed in 1937 in Belgium, is one of the masterpieces of sanatorium typology, which spread from the end of the 18th Century to the 1930s, when they were characterized by the principles of the International Style. Lemaire Sanatorium was designed by Maxime Brunfaut with a main hospital building, a wing for general services and superposed leisure rooms. The Modernity of this work is traceable certainly in the composition and in the constructive technology of the complex, with a capable use of modern materials. Brunfaut's formal language is strongly modern also thanks to the distinction amongst functions, services, spaces dedicated to clinic duties, to the leisure and to administrative functions. Great importance is also given to the technical features, either under the principles of Hygienism either to the Functionalism of the Modern Movement. Unfortunately at the end of the 1980s it was dismissed, so the building was exposed to degradation and vandalism that transformed this site into a devastated ruin with serious problems affecting fixtures, inner spaces and loaded parts. Despite its inscription as a historical and architectural monument in 1993, only in 2011 the Flemish Minister of Cultural Heritage started its restoration, which is still far from being concluded.

Last modified: 2016-12-07 22:51:43