10 Aug Postcard From Belgium
Well, Belgium is over, and we are now here in London. Belgium was a whirlwind! We went to meet Axel Vervoordt and see his home and studios outside of Antwerp, which was a highlight of the trip so far. So much to say about it I hardly know where to begin, for now I can say that it was an inspirational experience.
For those who don’t know Axel and his design work, he is one of the world’s major design stars. His philosophy seems to influence all Belgium design and much beyond these days. You’ll recognize the look, but there is much more to it then meets the eye – and I will be giving a little background into what he is all about when we write the full blog report soon. His oldest son, Boris, is gradually taking over the running of their ever-expanding empire. They were so lovely and welcoming, absolutely no pretensions. What a pleasure, what a place. We toured his studios, offices, workshop galleries and art installations, had lunch in the “dining room” with everyone, and then off to see his family home in – where else? – a local castle with moat, orangerie, 40 hectares of grounds, stables, gardens and more. But that’s just the beginning: this man is a human dynamo, with an international interior design and architecture practice with a client list among the rich and famous, and a very successful home collection. Axel is also a respected art collector, antiquarian, and curator of major art shows. In addition, he has become a real estate developer; the massive site of his offices, called the Kanaal, is a major project. Their own offices are just a tiny portion of the development presently under construction. The Kanaal is situated on the site of a massive abandoned brewery, complete with towering silos, which he is converting into residential, office, retail and leisure facilities.
While we were in Brussels, we spent time looking around at the extensive antique dealers, and we will have some wonderful stories to share. Of course we got pictures of everything, and we’ll be putting many of those up for everyone to see. Of course one has to eat and we had some fantastic meals, so for those of you who plan on visiting we will share some of the best with you. We are now in London and very very busy. London is endless so I won’t even start about that now. Our next postcard will be coming soon.