Dating from around 1850, this handsome building was both the home and studio of painter Alexandre Markelbach. The neo-Classical style façade, with side carriage entrance and false jointing on the ground floor, conceals a suite of rooms that still retain their original opulent decor. One room has a richly-decorated Regency-style cornice, combined with alternating wainscoting, painted grotesques on panelling, mirrors and pictures depicting cherubs representing the four seasons. Those walking on a beach symbolise summer while the others, busy harvesting grapes, represent autumn. Others still, holding a nest, are a reminder that spring is synonymous with renewal. The other rooms were decorated in the neo-Renaissance style. The building also features a gallery enhanced with bas-reliefs reproducing the Panathenaic procession and a rear veranda that was added between 1858 and 1876. At the time, a winter garden was an essential feature of any decent mansion. Greenpeace purchased the building in 1999 to house its offices, undertaking renovations that resulted in the original decor being completely preserved. The organisation uses non-violent and creative protest to highlight environmental issues and propose solutions that are crucial for the creation of a green, peaceful future. An independent player, it campaigns for the right of populations to breathe good-quality air by putting forward better mobility policies. Opening up its headquarters to tours on car-free day therefore made absolute sense.
chaussée de Haecht 159