Venues that take your breath away are rare. But Aegidium, an incredible architectural gem of 3,260m² is one of them.
The eclectic façade in no way prepares you for the exuberant decoration within.
The building has large spaces where Art Nouveau and Art Deco blend seamlessly, but the star of the show is undoubtedly the Moorish room, which was converted into a cinema in 1933.
The Aegidium: a Saint-Gilles story
This sober neo-Classical opened its doors in December 1906 and was known as the Diamant Palace. Its primary function was that of a hall for shows and festive occasions.
When the owner passed away, the site was bought and changed its name to Panthéon-Palace. At that time, it was known as one of the best dancing venues in Brussels.
In 1929, the building changed owner and name once again. It became the Aegidium, in refernce to the patron Saint of Saint-Gilles (Aegidius in Latin), and was dedicated to all sorts of parochial activities.
In 1933, it was renovated and changed its vocation once more, becoming a cinema.
In 1979, the Aegidium was transformed into a day centre, but closed definitively in 1985, due to the building's dire need of renovation.
One project, one vision
More than 30 years later, the venue finally found buyers with a genuine project.
Naturally there was no shortage of propositions to restore this gem over the years, but one major constraint scared away many prospective investors: the building is listed, which meant strict obligations and rules would be imposed on any works.
The new buyers are planning a series of restoration works beginning in January.
The objective is to open the front of the building to shops during 2018, before finishing the complete restoration of the complex at a later date.
The idea is to turn the venue into a "place of meetings and exchange for entrepreneurs, artists and innovators".
As for the MICE industry…
The Aegidium will be made up of several different spaces: housing, a cultural space, a food and drink area, a library, etc.
It is important to note that Silversquare is involved in the project, having partnered up with the buyers. Silversquare is the largest and most prestigious work space provider in Belgium. They already have three prestigious sites in Brussels.
It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that the building will include an impressive offer for meetings and incentives...