Maison Cauchie is one of the most original works of the Brussels Art Nouveau, both influenced by the work of the Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and by the achievements of the Viennese Secession. Paul Cauchie (1875-1952), painter, graphic designer, furniture designer and architect, brilliantly illustrates the various facets of the decorative revival marked by Art Nouveau.
In March 1894, Paul was admitted to the School of Decorative Arts, part of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. There he met Caroline Voet, aka Lina, one of the first women admitted to this school. They both won several prizes and Paul received a scholarship to travel abroad upon graduation in 1899. The couple married in 1905 and built a house that same year on a 6-metre-wide plot, purchased by Paul, in Rue Franconia, near the Cinquantenaire Park and easily visible from the main new avenues. Paul designed the facade of the house like a huge advertisement: it catches the eye of passers-by and is showcasing the couple’s know-how. This was done with the intention of advertising and selling their work.
The Cauchie house is very linear and geometric. The noble materials, typical of art nouveau architecture, are replaced here by a plaster that coats the facade in the manner of a painting canvas. The sgraffiti, composed of distinct stylized motifs, show a love for careful and masterful work. A caryatid, Clio, with raised arms, supports a cartouche 'By us, for us', a true profession of faith in a personalized artistic approach that extends from the facade to the interior decoration, entirely conceived by the artists couple.
In the immediate vicinity of the Cauchie House you'll find many examples of Art Nouveau. There are of course the different houses built by Horta. But also, the Hotel Solvay, the Maison Autrique, the hotel Hanon and many other wonders. Moreover, the Cauchie House is located along the beautiful Cinquentenaire Park, which will allow you to rest from your long hours of visits.
Check our books section for a book about the house.