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Committee Decisions

33 COM 8B.21

Cultural properties - New Nominations - Stoclet House (Belgium)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-09/33.COM/8B and WHC-09/33.COM/INF.8B1,

2. Inscribes the Stoclet House, Belgium, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (i) and (ii);

3. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

Brief Synthesis

The Stoclet House is an outstanding testimony to the creative genius of the Wiener Werkstätte. It was designed and built in Brussels from 1905 to 1911 by one of the founders of the movement, the Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann, of whose work it is the masterpiece. The Vienna Secession movement bears witness to a profound conceptual and stylistic renewal of Art Nouveau. Ever since its creation the Stoclet House has been and remains one of the most consummate and emblematic realisations of this artistic movement, characterising the aesthetic research and renewal of architecture and decoration in the west at the start of the 20th century. The Stoclet House decoration was the work of a very large number of artists from the Wiener Werkstätte, including Koloman Moser, Gustav Klimt, Frantz Metzner, Richard Luksch, and Michael Powolny. They worked under the guidance of Hoffmann to achieve a Gesamtkunstwerk ('total work of art'), which is expressed simultaneously in every dimension - interior and exterior architecture, decoration, furniture, functional objects, and the gardens and their flower beds. From its creation the House inspired many architects in Belgium and other countries. It heralded Art Deco and the Modern Movement in architecture. It bears witness to the influence of the Vienna Secession, and the dissemination of its ideas in Europe at the start of the 20th century. It bears witness to a monument of outstanding aesthetic quality and richness, intended as an ideal expression of the arts. A veritable icon of the birth of modernism and its quest for values, its state of preservation and conservation are remarkable.

Criterion (i): Created under the supervision of the architect and interior designer Josef Hoffmann, the Stoclet House is a masterpiece of the creative genius of the Vienna Secession through its aesthetic and conceptual programme of Gesamtkunstwerk, through its architectural vocabulary, through its originality, and through the exceptional quality of its decoration, of its furniture, of its works of art and of its garden. It is a remarkably well conserved symbol of constructive and aesthetic modernity in the west at the start of the 20th century.

Criterion (ii): Drawing on the values of the Vienna Secession and its many artists, including Koloman Moser and Gustav Klimt, the Stoclet House was recognised from the beginning as one of the most representative and refined works of this school. Created in Brussels, a key location for Art Nouveau, it exercised a considerable influence on modernism in architecture and on the birth of Art Deco.

Integrity and Authenticity

The Stoclet House has great integrity in its external architecture, its interior architecture and decoration, its furniture, and its garden. All the elements necessary for the expression of this value are included in the nominated property. It has not undergone any major alterations. The buildings around the House and its urban environment have undergone few modifications. The only new building of any size in its vicinity has been designed in a way which allows for its presence in terms of the landscape integrity of the nominated property. The Stoclet House and all its elements are authentic.

Management and protection requirements

The management of conservation meets the most demanding criteria and international standards. The detailed programming of the works that have already been carried out would benefit from being extended to include work in the interior and in the garden.

4. Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:

a) Extending the management plan to include the assessment and programming of work on the interior and on the garden;

b) Confirming that the urban plans and town planning regulations that apply to the initial buffer zone apply to the whole of the extended buffer zone;

c) Putting in place an emergency intervention plan to apply in the event of a serious incident, and initiatives to raise the awareness and training of firemen required to intervene in such circumstances.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: Belgium
Properties: Stoclet House
Session: 33COM