- Beyaert, Henri-Joseph-François
- (1823-1894)Born in Kortrijk on 29 July 1823, the 10th child of a lower-middle-class family, Henri Beyaert studied architecture in his native town and subsequently at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts. Establishing himself in Brussels, he began designing townhouses for middle-class clients. In 1859, the Banque Nationale commissioned him to design its new headquarters, an assignment that vaunted him into the ranks of the nation's most prominent architects. From 1860 to 1880, he worked on numerous commissions for wealthy and upper-middle-class patrons.In restoring the porte de Hal (1868-1870), Beyaert made abundant use of wrought iron, a material that he promoted as an element in building design. His layout of the place du Petit Sablon marked an important contribution to European architecture. He was commissioned to restore the Palais de la Nation, which was completed in 1883-1886, and he oversaw final work on the Palais de Justice. Among his last works, his design of the Ministry of National Railways building in 1889 displayed his characteristic ability to integrate his structures into the surrounding urban scene. An avid exponent of brick, Beyaert promoted use of this material, which became an important building stone in Brussels during the last quarter of the 19th century. He exerted an important influence on other architects, including Victor Horta, and his work marks a passage between the neoclassical and neo-Gothic styles and the arrival of art nouveau. Beyaert died in Brussels on 23 January 1894.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.