Two stools

Designed by Huib Hoste in the 1930s, this pair of constructivist seats has become part of the Brussels Design Museum’s permanent collection, thanks to the Marie-Jeanne Dauchy Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.

A unique modernist style

These two constructivist seats, in excellent condition, are typical of the work of Belgian designer Huib Hoste (1881 - 1957) during the 1930s. Originally created as part of the furnishing for a house in Ghent, they are characterised by a design and lines that illustrate Hoste’s functional aesthetic. Each of the stools, created in lacquered wood, can be seen as a small piece of sober architecture, punctuated with refined details such as plaques and a recessed base, which are also typical of other Hoste furniture, and the vertical ornamentation of a small bar that adds rhythm to the front of the seat.

Hoste’s furniture

Known as a designer of rationalist architectural settings, Hoste was a visionary artist with an international reputation, who also designed the interior and furniture for several houses. He established the Hoste-Furniture Company to produce the furniture he designed, which was recognisable from its clean, functional lines. The radical simplicity of his creations flirts with the sobriety of nickel-plated metal or lacquered wood, sometimes in contrast with the precious materials he used, such as exotic Bubinga wood or silk. Among Hoste’s clients was the famous Noordzee Hotel in Knokke.

A man of his time as well as avant-garde

Huib Hoste is considered to be the most significant figure of the Belgian avant-garde. The concepts and projects he developed as an architect, town planner and designer are renowned and make him a leading figure of modernism. After studying at the University of Ghent, Hoste’s style developed radically during his time at the Amsterdam School, after moving to the Netherlands during the First World War. His artistic relationships with leading figures such as architect Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud and the painters Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg led him to move definitively towards a style of architecture that was modern, progressive and avant-garde. On his return to Belgium in 1918, Hoste’s architectural projects became ‘cubist’, based on the principle of functional standardisation. In 1928, he was one of the founders of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (ICMA), created on the initiative of Le Corbusier, whose mission was to promote functional town planning. Among Hoste’s important architectural realisations are the Maison Gombert in Woluwe Saint Pierre (Brussels) and the Maison Noire – Zwarte Huis in Knokke. Together with Le Corbusier and Renaat Braem, he also worked on plans for Linkeroever in Antwerp.

On loan to the Brussels Design Museum

This rare and precious pair of stools is, to date, the only testimony of an ambitious and pioneering aesthetic movement and the chairs have been entrusted to the Brussels Design Museum, where they will be on show as part of the museum’s permanent collection that illustrates the history of design in Belgium, alongside other invaluable pieces acquired by the Marie-Jeanne Dauchy Fund.

The Marie-Jeanne Dauchy Fund

The Fund’s mission is the preservation, conservation, protection, restoration and promotion of Brussels cultural heritage. This pair of stools acquired by the Marie-Jeanne Dauchy Fund will be perfectly at home in the Brussels Design Museum among exhibits that are representative of design in Belgium.

Material / technique: 
Painted wood
45 x 35,5 x 35,5 cm
Type of acquisition: 
Acquired by the Marie-Jeanne Dauchy Fund
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Design Museum Brussels