The Villa Empain is at once an essential meeting place of Brussels’ artistic and cultural life, and a remarkable testament to the Art Deco movement.
Built at the beginning of the 1930s by architect Michel Polak at the initiative of Baron Louis Empain, it has reflected the history of Brussel throughout its past lives as successively private house, museum, USSR Embassy, and headquarters of Luxembourg television channel RTL. Partially destroyed and vandalized, it was abandoned in a deplorable state at the beginning of the 1980s. The Boghossian Foundation acquired the Villa Empain in 2006 and began working on its restoration, a process which would take four years. This complex and delicate restoration project, carried out with meticulous respect for the building’s history, was crowned with the European Union’s Europa Nostra prize. The Villa opened in 2010 as a Centre for Art and Dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures.