- Photographer: Åke Eson Lindman
The Ambassador’s residence Brussels, Belgium
Purchased by the Swedish State in 1928, the property comprises four floors plus a basement. It is also linked with a two-storey courtyard building. The residence makes the perfect venue for entertaining. The façade of the ground floor is dressed in sandstone, while the other floors have a yellow render, with stone window surrounds. The courtyard façades are in white-painted brick. The roof is tiled in slate.
Blomme inspired by Italy
When architect Adrien Blomme designed the building in 1913, it was as a home and office for him and his family. Blomme drew inspiration from the Italian Late Renaissance and the designs of Andrea Palladio. The rear of the building bears relief panels in ceramic that are copies of Andrea della Robbia's decorative work on Brunelleschi's orphanage in Florence. The advent of the First World War prevented the Blomme family from moving until 1916. Twelve years later, the property was purchased by the Swedish State on the initiative of the Ambassador at the time, Gustaf von Dardel, for 150,000 Swedish kronor.
Regal enough for a Swedish princess
On purchasing the building, extensive renovation work was carried out. The former architect's office became a banqueting hall and an open fireplace was installed, crowned with the Swedish coat of arms. The main building was also linked up with the upper part of the building on the other side of the courtyard. The purchase of the property was in part prompted by the marriage of Sweden's Princess Astrid to Belgium's Crown Prince Leopold. The residence was to better reflect "the raised status of Sweden through this marriage" and the Princess's parents, Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg, could be accommodated here in regal splendour. Since then, the property has served as the residence of the Swedish Ambassador in Brussels.
Listed in parts
In 1997 the City of Brussels decided that parts of the property on Avenue Géo Bernier should be listed due to their cultural value. The listing applies to the roofs, façades, entrance, hallway, staircase and landing, plus the three rooms overlooking the street on the first floor and the lower gallery at the rear.
Avenue Géo Bernier 13-13a