youngest of three children growing up in a Catholic middle-class family. In his early years he showed an inventive mind and was able to elaborate a patent similar to Yale locks. He graduated in architec- ture from St Luc College in Brussels. Blerot enjoyed travelling and sightseeing and regularly visited the Matterhorn in Switzerland. It is postulated that the local flora was the source of his inspiration in his future decorative ironwork projects. Carrying out his building projects with speed and purpose, he designed the plans of nearly 50 houses between 1897 and 1909. At the age of 27 he built his own house with the financial support
of his father. He then sold the house to buy land and built two further houses. Blerot built his own house and office at the corner of Avenue General de Gaulle and Rue Villain XIIII, but the building was demolished in 1964. In 1910 Ernest Blerot, at the age of 40, married Yvonne de Gheus d’Elzenwalle who was 20 years younger. After this he interrupted his professional activities so that he could involve himself in the upbringing of his four daughters. He dedi- cated much of the inter-war period to the restoration of Elzenwalle Castle near Ypres in Flanders, which had been inherited by his wife’s family. From 1929 Ernest Blerot retired, as the contemporary Art Deco style was not to his taste. He returned to his passion for mechanics and designed motor vehicles for the last 28 years of his life. He died on 19 January 1957.
The EADV House Brussels Based on the plans of Ernest Blerot, twin houses were built in Ixelles in the heart of Brussels, in a very nice residential street, and completed between 1902 and 1904. The twin houses occupied a pres- tigious address at 38 and 39 Avenue General de Gaulle, the EADV house occupying number 38. The houses overlook a large lake lined with trees. The Façade: Built of mainly white stones with some blue ones, the entrance, front garden, staircase and balconies are decorated with intricate cast ironwork, representing flowers and nature, all typical of Art Nouveau style. By having a closer look at the façade from the street, it becomes clear the “twin” houses are more fra- ternal than identical. On the roof of the EADV house (number 38), a dormer –inspired by the neo-go- thic style – embellishes and extends the height of the building. Overall the house is four storeys high. On the first floor a bow window enlarges the building, which de facto is slightly narrower than its neighbour. The number of windows differs in the two houses. In the lower part of both houses the differences are less striking. Ernest Blerot incorporated garage doors in both houses (too narrow for today’s cars) suggesting that he had already developed an interest in automotive vehicles. The Mosaics: In the large entrance hall the floor is paved with mosaics. White marble stones from Carrara (Italy), black marble from Golzinne (Belgium) and other tinted marble stones were incor- porated to give the floor its fine appearance. In 1989, EADV House was listed to preserve its Art Nouveau style. Following a complete restoration in 1992 the mosaic floors were renovated, a new water and heating system, roof and plumbing were installed along with a lift added. The Staircase: Spreading over 818 sqm, the central point of the house is the skylight descending from the roof to the ground floor. The staircase goes up to the fourth floor around the skylight to accentuate the height of the building. Although the staircase has been partly renovated, the style has been kept.