See Inside Maniera Gallery’s New Home, a Belgian Art Deco Masterpiece
When Belgian design gallery Maniera first opened nearly a decade ago, the works were located inside the loftlike apartment of Maniera’s founders, Amaryllis Jacobs and Kwinten Lavigne. The gallery has gone through many incarnations since then — including once popping up in a famed Brutalist house in Ghent — until this spring, when it moved into its new permanent digs: the Hôtel Danckaert, also known as Villa Dewin, a landmarked Art Deco building in Brussels designed in 1922 by architect Jean-Baptiste Dewin. The house and its interior decor, developed by Ateliers d’Art De Coene, feature intricately detailed wood paneling and trims, geometric patterned radiator covers, window insets featuring stained glass roses, and herringbone floors to die for. Maniera’s first exhibition in the space, which opened last month, features 15 new designs by artists and architects, all of which were created to respond to the gallery’s imposing setting.
In the dining room, Lukas Gchwandtner is presenting Lazy Pillows, a series of dreamily plump cushions arranged on a low, thin aluminum platform that would be a perfect spot for napping. Meanwhile, the kitchen, which boasts an amazing terracotta checkered floor, plays host to a minimal aluminum table by Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen that’s illuminated by a “stupidly bended” pendant lamp from Stéphane Barbier Bouvet’s Post-War Masters series.
The exhibition also includes several pieces by Tbilisi-based duo Rooms, ahead of an upcoming collaboration with Maniera. Among them is a bench hand-crafted from reclaimed oak, based on the historic stone benches scattered around Georgia’s public spaces, before they were privatized or destroyed following the collapse of the Soviet Union; another favorite is the duo’s Golden Fleece chair, which somehow looks as if it was made for tailgating outside a castle. Other designs by Richard Venlet, Bijoy Jain / Studio Mumbai, Jonathan Muecke, Sophie Nys, Valérie Mannaerts, Christoph Hefti, Piovenefabi, and Koenraad Dedobbeleer also enliven the moody interiors. “It’s like this house needed the pieces to come alive, and vice versa,” says the gallery.
Befitting its former life, the gallery is also available for stays via Airbnb. Post-Salone group trip?