The Torrentius townhouse owes its name to the person who commissioned it, the representative of an old Ghent family, Liévain van der Beke, known as Laevinus Torrentius and who was a member of the private council of the prince bishop. In all likelihood, the design of the dwelling can be attributed to Lambert Lombard (1505-1566), the appointed artist of the prince bishop, Erard de la Mark (1505-1538). Friend of the arts and wealthy patron, he sent the artist to Italy to purchase works to decorate his palace. Impassioned by the Italian Renaissance, on his return Lambert Lombard created an important academy and turned his hand to architecture in particular through the creation of this townhouse. Built in brick, limestone and Maastricht tufa in 1565, the building is made up of two perpendicular structures linked by a turret. This makes it one of the few examples of 16th-century civilian architecture in Liège – including the frescoes in the great drawing room – the mark of Italian Renaissance. The house was altered on several occasions, mainly in the 18th century, but was able to escape the threat of demolition before being restored and refurbished from 1978 to 1981 by the Liège architect ,Charles Vandenhove. On the inside, the artistic work by Daniel Buren, Olivier Debré and Léon Wuidar, among others, demonstrate a willingness to incorporate works by contemporary artists into the restored townhouse.
Exceptional heritage site of Wallonia
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