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Hall Henry van de Velde, 2021

By Geert Roels, license CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0

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Hall Henry van de Velde

Former Art Library

A seminar library transformed into a prestigious space, dedicated to the architect of the Boekentoren.

Hall Henry van de Velde, 2021

By Geert Roels, license CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0

The Hall Henry Van de Velde is named after the architect of the Boekentoren. It is located in the former library of art historians, which has been moved to the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy. It overlooks a terrace with a concrete awning and beautiful view of the Quiet Garden.

Here books have had to make way for people. In addition to the Belvedere, the Van de Velde Room will be the Boekentoren's second convivial space, and will be used as a reading café from 2024. Much in this space echoes the architecture of Van de Velde: the clear lines, the rhythm of the columns, the steel window profiles, the contrasting curves, the generous incidence of light and the mezzanine gallery.

ca. 2000-2013

Library HIKO

This timeless image documents the ‘art library’, shortly before it was closed. It moved from the Boekentoren to the Plateau building across the street, where the new, unified Faculty Library of Arts and Philosophy was created in the 2010s.

This library was part of the Higher Institute for Art History and Archaeology (HIKO), part of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy. Van de Velde himself has taught at the institute since 1926, together with the art historian August Vermeylen.

The contract for building the university library also included a new building for the HIKO. This was realised along the west wing, with a separate entrance and a striking, round-arched glass section, which majestically exposes the stairwell.

After the art library was closed, the former reading room of the HIKO became part of the university library. Could it be given another name than Hall Henry van de Velde?

Former Art Library, ca. 1985

Former Art Library, ca. 1985

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