Hotel Hotelo

With three locations in the North of Belgium (Antwerp), HotelO offers travelers a sophisticated, warm, hip, minimalist and totally Belgian Design experience in one of the country's most eclectic and creative cities - Antwerp.

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Jules Wabbes Retrospective - Brussels

Wednesday October 17, 2012 through Sunday January 6, 2013

Jules Wabbes is one of Belgium's most important furniture designers, yet he remains unknown to the mass public. This exhibition presents, for the first time, a complete overview of his work as 'furniture designer' with a specific focus on the pieces he designed for Foncolin, and his participation at the Milan Triennales in 1957 and 1960. In addition to pictures and original drawings, the exhibit will also feature unique pieces, including prototypes amongst which some have never been shown to the public before.

Jules Wabbes est l’un des plus importants créateurs belges de meubles, mais il reste un inconnu pour le grand public. L’exposition présente pour la première fois un aperçu complet de son travail comme designer de meubles, avec une attention particulière pour les meubles du Foncolin et pour ses participations aux Triennales de Milan en 1957 et 1960. En plus de photos et dessins originaux, l’exposition comporte surtout des pièces de mobilier uniques, parmi lesquelles différents prototypes qui sont pour la première fois présentés au public.

More info @

BOZAR - Centre for fine Arts
Rue Ravenstein 23 
1000 Bruxelles
Info & Tickets (32) 02 507 82 00

Antartica in a Bag

If you live anywhere in Europe right now, you’re most likely experiencing subzero temperatures. Antarctica In A Bag is a beautiful photo series by Belgian architect Francois Delfosse, creating the illusion of large icy landscapes using nothing more than a ordinary plastic bags. To see more of his work go here.

Brussels Express

Dominique Goblet Drawings

Old (2002) and New (for those of us who are just discovering or re-discovering) these drawings of typical Belgian landscapes and architecture by Belgian (Graphic Novel) artist Dominique Goblet.

Souvenir d'une Journée Parfaite by Dominique Goblet
("Remembrance of a Perfect Day"), color. Belgium: Fréon, 2002.

The 'comics' work of Belgian artist Dominique Goblet is immediately striking in that it not only ignores, but in many ways seems utterly uninfluenced by the usual conventions of comics. Goblet is a multi-talented artist who works in comics, painting, and photography, as well as installation art that combines all of those forms. Her visual style, often mixed-media, can leap, page by page, from agitated and scratchy drawings that seem to mar the paper they were created on, to gentle and lyrical images with the placidity of watercolors. Like her graphic style, her comics themselves are multi-faceted and intensely personal. Souvenir is a complex story that combines both fiction and autobiography and, more urgently than telling a specific story, reveals to the reader an intimacy and personal voice rarely found in comics

REALPOLITIK by Valery Lippens

Powerful, horrifying, humorous, disrespectful, gutsy, visionary ... I love this series of cultural, historical and political icons reinvented for the visual/ocular fiend ... as seen by Belgian photographer Valery Lippens.

"This Work in Progress Serie… samples from a mélange of historical, pop culture, philosophical, comedic, and Internet image to create a montage in the vein of the the literary montage style invented by Walter Benjamin as part of his Arcades Project… The idea is to liberate the suppressed “true history”… a quest for traces of the untold, the ignored and the suppressed… producing some disturbing and provocative outcomes…"


You can recognize a country by the food they serve. Everybody knows Belgian chocolate, but what about the cuberdon candy. For many Belgians a beloved childhood taste, but unknown outside our frontiers. The recipe, that dates back to the 19th century, is a well kept secret only known by a handful of confisiers (aka candy makers). You can recognize a classic cuberdon as a violet collared sugar cone containing a thick raspberry syrup. 

How does it get that way? Well we know that cuberdons are hand-made with carefully selected ingredients, among those are gum arabic and raspberry aroma. All of these go into a copper pot to cook, the obtained mixture is poured into conical forms to be dried in an oven during five to six days. This kicks in the crystallization process of the outer layer, while the core stays liquid. The restricted durability of fresh cuberdon (three weeks) is caused by the sugarization of the core. One of the main reasons that this sugar-rush-giving candy is not exported! 

Biting off the top and sucking out the syrup is the classic way to devour a cuberdon, resulting in a volcanic explosion of liquid raspberry-scented sugar. Today you can get more than 25 different perfumes, going from apple to liquorice. All this sweetness was almost lost in oblivion as the second world war knew a lack of gum arabic import. But some passionated confisiers, that remembered the unwritten recipe, restarted production in 1946. Today the cuberdon entered the culinary world of star restaurants. The cuberdon inspired desserts of Roger Van Damme are praised by foodie idols such as Ferran Adria of El Bulli. But cuberdons stay a people’s candy. You don’t have to visit a fancy restaurant to try them out, instead you can buy them at your local market our quality candy shop. So hop on a train, take that plane and enjoy your Belgian cuberdon!

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Sandworm is an organic structure/space/creature realized on the dunes of the Wenduine coastline, Belgium. The 45 meters long and 10 m wide and high installation moves freely in-between architecture and environmental art and is constructed entirely out of willow following the local knowledge of a continuing interaction between work and environment. Marco Casagrande worked hard with his team of young architects and local experts for 4 weeks in order to create something that he describes as “weak architecture” – a human made structure that wishes to become part of nature through flexibility and organic presence. 

To read the rest of this article and see the drawings of this incredible project
click here

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Bram Bogart

A Dutch/Belgian artist I love is Bram Bogart whose pieces are full of bold color and texture (inspired by the movement/furrow of the soil after it has been prepared for planting). Simple, powerful, and beautiful!

We always think that a painting is ahead of its time.
This is not true, it’s the public that is behind the times.
The painter is always influenced by his time, at the moment he lives.
– Bram Bogart

Fred Eerdekens favorites ...

These are just a few of my favorite pieces from Belgian artist Fred Eerdekens. To see the full image and in a larger scale (which does the work the justice it deserves) click here.

Book on Jules Wabbes

For those of you still trying to get your hands on a book on the Belgian designer Jules Wabbes, his daughter, Marie Ferran-Wabbes, worked on this re-edition (above) available in French, Flemish and English. There is also an exhibit in the works that will take place in Brussels, in October of this year, at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles (Bozar).




Daniel Ost - Garden Design

Daniel Ost - most famous for his incredible sculptural flower arrangements - is now venturing into garden design. Above are some pictures of the green spaces he designed for the DE UIL house (previously blogged about here).

Jules Wabbes at home

This is Jules Wabbes's house now lived-in by his wife, Marie Wabbes, a children's book author. His daughter, Marie Ferran-Wabbes, also an author, wrote the only reference and stunning coffee-table book on her father. A collector's item, it has been out of print for a while now ... but hoping that, with this new "Wabbes revival" ... the book will be re-published soon!

This is a house I know very very well, and it is one of the houses that have influenced my Belgian style.

The pictures in this post courtesy of
Photos by Jean-Pierre Gabriel