This striking, exotic ensemble is one of last major architectural projects commissioned by King Leopold II (1835-1909). The buildings were designed by the French architect Alexandre Marcel (1860-1928), and to give them an authentic look, they were covered in custom-made panelling prepared in the Far East. As such, the Japanese Tower’s decorative elements are from Yokohama and the entrance pavilion was ordered in Tokyo. In line with this, the polychrome woodwork of the kiosk and the Chinese Pavilion is from Shanghai.
However, with the exception of these imported components, the buildings are in actual fact European as they were erected using European construction techniques, their shells were made using Belgian materials and the decorative elements are by Parisian artists.
Musea van het Verre Oosten
Admission free for everyone on the first Wednesday of the month from 1 p.m. on.
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