BRUYN, Willem de
(b. 1649, Brussel, d. 1719, Brussel)

Biography

Willem (Guillaume) de Bruyn, Flemish architect. He was one of the key figures in the reconstruction of the Grand Place of Brussels after the devastating bombing of 1695. He had the same name as his father, who had been master builder in Brabant until his death in 1669. Willem went to Italy as part of his training. After the death of his father, Willem was appointed to his duties.

He gave up this mandate when he became a city architect in 1685, a position he would hold for more than 34 years. The French bombardment of 1695 provided for the city an unprecedented reconstruction task. De Bruyn's plan for the reconstruction of the Grote Markt was approved by the city magistrates on 7 February 1696. De Bruyn also planned a new straight street (Beierenstraat) and the related square.

On the Grote Markt the designs of the building plans for the Maison des Ducs de Brabant, as well as the guild houses de l'Arbre d'Or, Chaloupe d'Or, and de l'Ange, are attributed to him. His work is distinguished by a monumentality of scale, and features of both Flemish Baroque and Neoclassical styles are evident.

De Bruyn remained in office until his death in 1719.