Entering through La Quincaillerie’s unassuming front, you cannot help but be wowed. With three floors of beautiful
wood panelling, gleaming copperware, wrought iron staircases and a huge, iconic station-style clock at the centre, the place is a stunning piece of Art Nouveau architecture. The original design from 1903 was for a hardware store (‘quincaillerie’ means ‘ironmongery’ in French) courtesy of the architectural firm of Victor Horta, one of Belgium’s most famous sons. During Brussels’ golden age, before the outbreak of World War I, Horta designed several private and public buildings in this part of the capital, which has remained a hotbed for avant-garde artists ever since, buzzing with an adventurous spirit of innovation.