Paul Cauchie was born in Ath in 1875. At the age of 16, Paul Cauchie started to study architecture in Antwerp. In 1893, he enrolled at the Brussels Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where he met Caroline Voet aka Lina, one of the first women admitted to the academy. They both won several prizes and in 1899 Paul was awarded a travel grant which enabled him to travel to Italy.
Paul and Lina married in 1905, and that same year they decided to build a house on the six-metres wide plot of land which Paul had bought at the upper end of rue des Francs, close to the Cinquantenaire Park and in a good visible position from all neighbouring streets. He designed the house façade like a giant advertising billboard, drawing the attention of passers-by and showcasing his the couple’s know-how. This was done with the intention of advertising and selling their work.
Paul died in 1952. Lina stayed in the house until her death in 1969. Suzanne, the only daugther of the couple, inherit the property which she sold ten years later to Guy and Léona Dessicy. Despite being listed, the building was deteriorated. The new owners undertook restoration works which lasted fifteen years. The original idea was to host a Tintin museum. The project, which had already been approved by Tintin’s creator Hergé, was later abandoned and the Dessicy family decided to convert the former cellar and kitchen into an exhibition space.
The restauration works has brought the building back to life. The sgraffito of the main reception room, rediscovered in 1987, has been attentively restaurated. From 1994 onwards, the Cauchie house has been open to public and welcomes visitors passionate about Art nouveau and cultural heritage. A no-profit association has been founded, with the goal of preserving, promoting, protecting and enhancing the building. Since then, it organizes guided tours and various activities to keep this exceptionnal space alive.
In the summer 2022, a new page of the history of this house is opened with its purchase by the insurance company CDA. To be continued…
Informations and reservation via this link*
5 rue des Francs, 1040 Etterbeek | Belgium
Metrolines : 1, 5 (Merode)
Tram : 81 (Merode, Place Saint-Pierre)
Bus : 27, 61, 80 (Merode, Gaulois)
Entrance Fee (guided tour included) : €7.50 – 9.50
Group visit: from €145
We are offering private guided tours for groups upon reservation.
To book the place or for more information, contact us*.