Lemaire Sanatorium was built in 1937 by the Belgian architect Maxime Brunfaut and funded by the insurance company La Prévoyance Sociale (illustrated by the letters 'PS' on the mosaics on the image on the left), this imposing art deco building is located in Tombeek close to Overijse, 12.4 miles south of Brussels.
Its unique architecture moved away from the stagnant corridor hospitals built in the early part of the century and uses bold linear elements mixed with light airy interior spaces to give the hospital its flair. Due to its imaginative design, the sanatorium has been studied throughout the world and has been featured in many architectural publications.
The hospital is reached through a foreboding tree-lined lane that stretches on for about one mile (see video below). This majestic entry enhances the site in its natural environment and gives visitors a taste of what is to come.
Originally designed to accommodate 150 tuberculosis patients, the sanatorium offered a sumptuous environment within its remarkable halls. Light, space, and air were all considered key components to assist in healing the ill. Its isolated location brought nature to the patients to speed the healing process along with all of the luxurious facilities Lemaire Sanatorium had to offer. The building was transformed into an insane asylum in the early 80s and eventually was abandoned 50 years after its construction in 1987.
The photos published in the two galleries were taken between December 2003 and December 2008 for the gallery "Full moon at the Sanatorium". The sanatorium is a classic urban exploration location in Belgium but has suffered the wear and tear of vandals for the 15 years it has stood abandoned. Everything inside this once grand building has been stolen or destroyed, including the numerous windows that lined the halls. Currently only the carcass-like shell of the building remains as a silent reminder to the opulence Lemaire Sanatorium was once proud of. While walking along the endless corridors you can feel the violence that has been wrought to achieve the current dilapidated result.
Despite all of the destruction and abuse that was doled out the sanatorium was alive until the end. You can feel the lively atmosphere that surrounds this place; it's creaking and slamming doors at night, the tangled concrete maze of corridors that intertwines the space leaving you lost and tracing your steps. One only needs to imagine how life went on in these rooms that are now ravaged.
After numerous failed attempts, December 2008 was the first glimpse of hope this concrete behemoth has seen in decades. At the date of this report work has started and areas around the site have been cleared and the building cleaned, as can be seen on the photo gallery "Full Moon at Sanatorium". Finally, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Lemaire Sanatorium will rise again and not deviate too much from its primary function. In this new incarnation it will serve as a nursing home for the elderly.
Will the hospital find its former glory? Stay tuned...
Visited the sanatorium about a month ago and there were construction workers everywhere.
A big part of the building has already been demolished and they were busy with the rest..
So don't bother going there.. you can't get in when the workers are there and even if you get in there's really nothing left to see..
We've been visiting J Lemaire in late February, but we weren't able to get inside due to busy works.
The asbest elements have been removed and this seemed to be an early step to demolish rest , as soon as the dangerous material has been littered seperately.
Anyone here with more actual informations ?
I was there two weeks ago, we managed to get in, from the backside of the building (where there are nog guards) we left our car about 2kms further up the road.
There was no problem whatsoever getting in...
Although they are reconverting the building, at some points of the building you can still shoot beautiful pictures of the light falling in through demolished doors and windows.
Been there for about an hour, then on the sixth floor, a moving detector started an alarm and we made a run for it! greets!
Go there !
Even found rontgen fotos there, which we obviously left behind there
Recently visited the place, but not a chance of entering the premisses ...it is permanently guarded and aperently they started construction. btw, some nice pictures of how it used to be @ www.redhetsanatorium.be
Good advice to people who want to visit the place, don't park your car near the building.
The police comes to check the place many times a day, we were there twice and we got kicked out
twice by the police.
I have seen on other web site what this magnificent building looked like when it first opened. It was and is, I suppose, still, a simply magnificent jewel of Deco / Modern architecture. Instead of the forest you found surrounding the building, it once sat in a huge open field. It is sad to see such a jewel gone to ruin.
i went there last night, but it was not nice, there where junkies and other people scaring us away, this place is to known to go to...
I visited this place in november 2007 and it does not look the same as in the video. Most of the furniture are either gone or severly vandalized and there are tags on most of the walls. Sad, because the architecture are beutiful.
Bastiaan: you are wrong
I think it is demolished, am I right?
Seeing the ruins of these hospitals for the mentally incompetent brings to mind the summers when I worked in the Milledgeville Hospital in Georgia. Each person there had a story to tell and how sad for them that they were confined to sanatoriums where life is really not life at all, but the forgotten people, for the most part. What sadness I feel.
I've recently gotten interested in photos of abandoned sites...Lemaire's is one that has really caught my attention. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos you have of it. I'm checking out the video now.
This video really brings out something deep inside, nostalgia for a place never visited, a place probably never would visit, A place that must have so many memories, and it's like they're captured and preserved... forever...
Same for all the videos
Amazing, and thankyou!
The video is absolutly great.... We need the pictures!!!!! Quick!! ;-)
Hmm, pictures will come, soon or later. Well, rather later than soon I think!
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