- Suys, Tilman-François
- (1783-1861)Architect Tilman-François Suys was born in Ostend on 1 July 1783. He studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Bruges until 1805 and in Paris under architects to Napoléon Bonaparte. The award of the Grand Prix d'Architecture in 1812 secured his reputation and he spent five years (1813-1818) in Italy studying Roman architecture.Suys returned to Belgium at age 35 and was named architect to King William I in 1827. He directed the building of both the Palais des Académies and the center portico (demolished in 1905 and rebuilt) and interior decoration of the Palais Royal. In 1835, he was appointed professor at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts, which he held until his death. Appointed architect to King Leopold I, Suys undertook restoration work of medieval edifices, including the tower of the Hôtel de Ville (1841), and he inspired in large part the creation of the Léopold district, a city quarter marked by symmetry and uniformity in street layout and building configuration. Distinguishing works of his career include the church of Saint-Joseph (1842-1849), built of local blue stone, and the square Frère-Orban, laid out in 1860.A dominating presence in architecture in Brussels in the first half of the 19th century, Suys taught many of the leading figures of the second half of the century. He died near Bruges on 11 July 1861 and is buried at the cemetery at Laeken in a tomb designed by his son Léon Suys.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.