The Rectory at the VUB
The Rectory of the Vrije Universiteit of Brussel was designed by the architect Renaat Braem. Over the years, this ellipse-shaped building has become the symbol of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. This monument is one of the prominent examples of modern architecture in the Brussels architectural landscape.
The wall paintings were designed by Braem himself and symbolise the evolution of the earth and mankind. The first three floors these illustrate the elements, the origins of life, primitive plant life, and animals and human beings in sequence. The fourth floor shows mankind as it struggles to develop and the fifth floor is an ode to the final goal: a free man in a creative, thinking environment.
Braem’s symbolic language also features in the majestic concrete canopy above the main entrance. This includes signs originating in building symbolism and freemasonry, as well as a more universal symbolic language. There is also a little bit of fun: three umbrellas above each other. Braem's words on the subject were that "administration is largely a matter of opening umbrellas."