“Peoples Palace” by Victor Horta

Brussels is the source for communal buildings with a social context.

This is the city where for the first time a center was created for free speech, healthcare, legal advice; “Maison du Peuple”.

In April 1885, a meeting of 112 workers took place in a room of the café De Zwaan on the Grand Place in Brussels, at the same place where the First International had convened, and where Karl Marx had written the Communist Manifesto. The members were mainly craftsmen drafting a program for the new party.

A similar building was created by the Dutch socialist in Amsterdam by Berlage, in Ghent with the “Vooruit” building. This was a european movement that started here, in Brussels.

In spite of an international protest movement of over 700 architects, the building was demolished in 1965. So after 50 years it is time to create this building again, not out of brick and mortar, or steel and wood but out of social structures, ideas and innovations, a platform for people to change the political atmosphere in Brussels.

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