Between utopia and conformism

During the ten years that follow the war, construction lies dormant in the repetition of old styles. In this period, modern architecture has remained a marginal phenomenon. The pioneers have had to expend a lot of energy to confront ambient conformism and the disapproval of public opinion.

At the end of the decade, the trend is reversed and modernity becomes omnipresent. The mirage of the American city takes possession of minds and creates a genuine building frenzy. Modern architecture will eventually amass easy successes and itself give way to a certain conformism.

The Boulevard du Jardin botanique, transformed into a highway just before the Expo 58. In the centre, the oldest American-style office building in Brussels, Rue Royale 151-153, St-Josse, architect H. Van Kuyck, 1956-1957 (detail from a period postcard).