- Poelaert, Joseph
- (1817-1879)One of the most renowned and prolific Belgian architects, Joseph Poelaert was born in Brussels on 21 March 1817. He pursued courses at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts followed by studies in Paris. His first major architecture commission came in winning the competition to erect a monument in place Rouppe in honor of the first burgomaster following national independence. The bronze fountain he designed was completed in 1846. His talent won increasing recognition. A jury in 1850 awarded him the project to construct the Colonne du Congrès, completed in 1859. It was this work that led to his appointment as architect of the city. Poe-laert completed restoration work of the church of Sainte-Catherine, designed the church of Notre-Dame de Laeken, and carried out the redesign of the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie. Long desirous of building a new edifice to house the law courts, the national government turned to Poelaert, who submitted a draft plan that won unanimous approval by an official commission. The Palais de Justice remains his signature work, but he did not live to see its completion, having died in Brussels on 3 November 1879, four years before its inauguration.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.