Gallery Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium

Xavier Hufkens – a leading contemporary art gallery in Europe – reopened its Sint-Jorisstraat gallery in Brussels in the summer of 2022, following a spatial reformulation of the existing flagship gallery with an important new extension by Robbrecht en Daem architecten. The project holds a special connection to the building’s history: thirty years ago, Robbrecht en Daem – in collaboration with Marie-José Van Hee architecten – converted the classical mansion into the gallery’s first home. The design combined the everyday with the artistic experience. That story continues with a new statement in the city of Brussels.
The new building stands apart as a monolithic figure with one side of the building completely detached from its neighbour. This disconnection creates a transition between street and garden, between outside and inside. The interstice allows a flash of light to mark the visual start of (a visit to) the gallery. The rue St-Georges façade, with its single opening, manifests itself as a one-eyed stela and symbolizes ‘the expectation of art'.
The design is an interplay between two houses in which the floor levels are aligned so that a 'promenade architecturale' can run through both sides of the building. The interaction between the new and the existing building creates a Pleiades of different spaces with museum-like proportions in the new building and room-like dimensions in the mansion. This array of scales corresponds to the multiplicity of manifestations in art. A rough, concrete staircase works as a counterpoint to the purity of the gallery spaces. A variety of natural light incidences throughout the gallery creates a wide range of experiences. Consequently, art always relates to the space in a new way.
Xavier Hufkens nv
Robbrecht en Daem architecten bv
Expansion and refurbishment of contemporary art gallery
Brussels, Belgium
Floor Area
2.215 m2
Paul Robbrecht, Hilde Daem, Johannes Robbrecht, Kim Poorters, Valérie Van Roy, Florence Himpe, Lara Kinds
Interior Architect
Robbrecht en Daem architecten bv, François Marcq nv (executive and sales spaces)
Project Manager
Julien Ridremont (Arcoteam bvba)
Structural Engineering
BAS bvba (Dirk Jaspaert)
Services Engineering
Cenergie nv
Wirtz International Landscape Architects nv
Jos Reynders Décor nv
Transport & Mobility
Agora nv
Eveka bvba
Cenergie nv
SiSi (Siegrid Siderius)
3D / Rendering / Visuals
Robbrecht en Daem architecten bv & G2 Architectural Graphics bvba
Kristien Daem