Building Name

British Section of the Brussels International Exhibition


The Brussels International Exhibition, opened on Monday last, seems likely to prove one of the most attractive of the year's displays. The Exhibition occupies extensive permanent buildings, of which a small part was used for the Belgian National Exhibition in 1880, and which have now been finished. The Exhibition covers nearly 100 acres of ground and is on a larger scale than any previous Exhibition except that of 1878 at Paris. The pleasure grounds, which are handsomely laid out, contain a number of restaurants, taverns, resting places, and an aquarium. The largest and most prominent structure is that of the British Empire section. It is the main nave of the Manchester Exhibition of last year, with portions of the art gallery as aisles, and is an entirely separate building. It occupies a space of 23,000 square yards, and is being re-erected by Mr. Byrom, of Bury, and from the designs of Messrs. Maxwell and Tuke, of Manchester and Bury. Rapid progress is being made with the work of the British section; although the English workman is paid double the rate of the Belgian workman and his passage money to Brussels and back, yet the contractor finds it to his advantage to employ British labour. It is found that English workmen do more than double the work of the Belgians and do it better. The decorations are being carried out under the superintendence of Mr. Arthur H. Macknardo, of Liverpool and London. [Building News 11 May 1888 page 690]

The building, designed by Messrs Maxwell and Tuke, architects of the Manchester Exhibition, consists of no inconsiderable portion of that structure, having a nave and transept 60 feet wide, the corners of the rectangle being filled in with courts of 30 feet span and lower elevation. The clustered columns formed by steam-pipes, the flanges of which only add to the effect, again prove how beauty can be attained by simple forms judiciously disposed, while the iron roof is elegant as well as light. [The Engineer1 June 1888 page 439]

Formally opened on 19 May 1888 by Lord Vivian CB HBM Minister Plenipotentiary and Charge d’Affaires at the Court of Brussels.

Reference    Building News 11 May 1888 page 690
Reference    The Engineer 1 June 1888 page 439