Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels

The Centre for Fine Arts (French: Palais des Beaux-Arts, Dutch: Paleis voor Schone Kunsten) is a multi-purpose cultural venue in Brussels, Belgium. It is often referred to as BOZAR (a homophone of Beaux-arts) in French or PSK in Dutch. The building was designed by the architect Victor Horta, and completed in 1929 at the instigation of the banker and patron of the arts Henry Le Bœuf. It includes exhibition and conference rooms, a cinema and a concert hall, which serves as home to the National Orchestra of Belgium.

Exterior of the Centre for Fine Arts building (BOZAR) in Brussels


Construction (1923–1929)Edit

The Centre for Fine Arts shortly after completion

Horta began designing the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels following World War I, in a more geometric style than his previous works, similar to Art Deco. The Belgian Parliament initially denied funding for the plans.[1] With the founding of the Société du Palais des Beaux-Arts in 1922, the project was revived. Construction started in 1923,[2] albeit with several restrictions: the city supplied a very irregular area on the slope between the upper and the lower part of the city; the main facade had to house shopping facilities; and the height of the building was restricted so as not to compromise the King's view of Brussels' skyline from the Royal Palace.[3]

The building was originally intended to be built of stone, but Horta made a new plan of reinforced concrete with a steel frame. He had intended the concrete to be left exposed in the interior, but the final appearance did not meet his expectations, and he had it covered. It took more than a decade to complete the complex, which contains a large concert hall in an unusual ovoid, or egg shape. It is accompanied by a recital room, a chamber music room, lecture rooms, and a vast gallery for temporary exhibitions. He managed to put together this array of different functions on a rather small building plot with restricted conditions using more than 8 building levels with a large part situated underground.

Recent history (2000–present)Edit

Since 2002, the Belgian federal intuition has chosen the brand name BOZAR, which has eight artistic departments: BOZAR Expo, BOZAR Music, BOZAR Cinema, BOZAR Dance, BOZAR Theatre, BOZAR Literature, BOZAR Studios and BOZAR Architecture. BOZAR is home to the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Société Philharmonique/Philharmonische Vereniging, which invites the world's major orchestras and performers to appear at Le Boeuf Hall. The finals of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition are also held there. Up to 10 exhibitions a year are organised at BOZAR, and have included Jeff Wall, Luc Tuymans, Frida Kahlo, Lucas Cranach, Gilbert & George, Wim Delvoye, Venetian, Flemish Masters, Keith Haring and "It's not only rock'n'roll Baby".



  • Henry Le Bœuf Hall, with seating capacity for 2,200
  • Chamber Music Room, with seating capacity for 476
  • Victor Horta Hall (Great Sculpture Hall)
  • Studio Recital Hall, with seating capacity for 210
  • Salle Terarken, a multi-purpose hall
  • Exhibition rooms


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Background on Horta, on bozar.be (in English)
  2. ^ Horta: Art Nouveau to Modernism, Harry N Abrams, ISBN 0-8109-6333-7
  3. ^ Wonderful Concert Halls in Europe Echo, Neils Le Large
  4. ^ "Paul Dujardin to remain Head of Bozar". 8 Feb 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-03-30.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 50°50′37″N 4°21′35″E / 50.843712°N 4.359818°E / 50.843712; 4.359818