Jules Wabbes

Jules Wabbes (1919–1974) was one of the most important Belgian furniture and interior designers of the second half of the 20th century. He made this exceptionally long desk between 1955 and 1957. The piece of furniture was part of a major project for the designer’s career. It is for this reason that the Léon Courtin – Marcelle Bouché Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, acquired the desk. It has been entrusted to the Design Museum Gent, where it completes the designer’s presence in the museum’s collection.

With its extraordinary 3m30 length, this desk is a good illustration of the use of glued, woodblock panels, a technique that rapidly became the hallmark of furniture made by Jules Wabbes.

Wabbes created this desk for the emblematic administrative building of Foncolin, the former government service of the Fonds Colonial des Invalides, in the Léopold neighbourhood of Brussels. This project marked a turning point in the designer’s career and that of his partner, the architect André Jacqmain.

In 2012, the desk was one of the pieces of furniture shown in the Bozar exhibition "Jules Wabbes Furniture Designer" (see photo). At that time the drawers were assembled differently, but they have since been re-set according to the original design of the desk.

Material / technique: 
Wood and metal
L. 3m30
Type of acquisition: 
Acquired by the Léon Courtin – Marcelle Bouché Fund
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Design Museum Gent