It started with a chapel…
Planned on the development plan of the North-East district designed by the architect Gédéon Bordiau and approved by the Royal Decree of 20.12.1875, the church that was to take square Marguerite is still not completed in 1895. Tired long distances to reach the places of worship of neighboring communes, the inhabitants of the district have a chapel built at No. 20 rue du Noyer, in the territory of Schaerbeek. The building is open as a church of the new parish of the Sacred Heart, November 1, 1895.
Confronted with the fait accompli, the City of Brussels gives a negative opinion concerning the parish. Its creation is nevertheless approved by the Royal Decree of 27. 10.1896. The City will then constantly stop the attempts of the parish to build a real church in the neighborhood.
… continued with the first church of ‘Sacré-Coeur’…
In 1907, his parish priest, Félix Buelens, made a request to build a “conference room” on a plot of land belonging to him on rue Le Corrège. The project is signed by architects Georges Cochaux and Alex Struyven.
During construction, the City learns that the future hall is actually intended to serve as a church. The municipal council then demands the stop of the works. The City eventually approved the slightly revised plans of the building, erected this time by the architect Victor Janssen. The place of worship is consecrated on March 19, 1909.
… to finish with the current church
In 1941, it appears that the church, designed as temporary, was not built using “first quality” materials and that heavy restorations are required. Given the increase in the number of parishioners, the building is also too small. The parish is considering the construction of a new church. A preliminary draft is designed by architect Leonard Homez. The construction is to take place in the street Correggio, on the ground adjacent to the church, previously acquired by the parish.
In 1942, however, the City proposed to build the new church on the other side of the block, avenue Michel-Ange, after expropriation of our 18 to 24 of it. The parish agrees with this idea but the project is finally abandoned.
In the aftermath of the war, in 1952, architect Jo De Bouver drew a new project for the parcel adjoining the church. The construction of the building began in 1954. In late 1956, the old church, amputated from its left aisle, became a parish hall. Modified several times, the interior has been converted since 2003 into an Orthodox Syriac church.
Originally symmetrical, the building is composed of a central body under a saddle roof, flanked by aisles; the one on the left was demolished when the new church was built between 1954 and 1956.
Elevation of neoclassical inspiration, in white stone and imitation white stone. Basement of blue stone. Facade of the central body under pinion, preceded by a pediment. Included in a semicircular frame with a gorge, an imposing rectangular door under entablature and tympanum depicting Christ, arms spread and surrounded by cherubs, under the inscription “come to me you who suffer, I will relieve you”. On the project, which was intended as that of a “conference room”, the tympanum is soberly adorned with a motive of vase. Entrance flanked by twin pilasters with Ionic capital. Side aisle pierced by a large rectangular door surmounted by a cartouche, flanked by a smaller door, service, semicircular arch. Paneled doors preserved.
The first project, designed a few months earlier by the architects Cochaux and Struyven, presents a facade of the same style but more massive and ornamented.
Elevation at red brick street. The white stone of Savonnières paremente the ground floor and punctuates the higher levels. Basement of blue stone. Ground floor basement with broken arc flattened. Sloped windows.
Facade of the gabled nave with a stone cross. In a high broken frame with projections, broad axial entrance flanked by luminaires on base, under five ogival windows high and narrow, with continuous cross. They are underlined by the inscription “domus dei domus orationis”.
High bell tower square plan, under roof bell and vane. Towards the street, a niche today devoid of a statue, under two levels of twin murderous windows. Room of the bells to slaughter. To the left of the tower is a narrow three-storey building with a service door and a window on each floor.
Right front of two spans, the main under gable, the other entrance. Twin windows, rectangular upstairs. Roof skylight with roof.
Panel doors and metal frames preserved.
Interior in yellow bricks. Nave under vault in broken cradle, interspersed with arches concrete diaphragms. It is lit laterally by triplets with broken arches included in a frame of the same shape.
Open aisles on the nave by flattened flattened arches. They house, at the second bay on the south side and the third bay, three confessionals in blond wood, also under a flattened arch. The walls of the aisles are adorned with relief ceramics, depicting Stations of the Cross.
The choir consists of three parts of degressive height, delimited by arches diaphragms broken, the last two on squat columns. It is illuminated laterally by three twin windows and, at the bottom, by a triplet adorned with stained glass windows signed “R. Crickx Fecit”: they include Christ on the cross, Saint Longin the Centurion piercing the side of Jesus with his spear and the Virgin. Floor and altar in black veined marble. To the left of the choir, monumental ceramic relief depicting the Virgin and Child, placed after the consecration of the church.
Above the entrance vestibule, organ gallery. The latter is designed in a neo-Gothic style in 1909 by Émile I Kerkhoff for the Atonement Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Miracle of the Convent of the Ladies of Perpetual Adoration, located on Van Maerlant Street. The organ is sold to the Sacred Heart Church in 1980, after the closing of the convent, now converted into offices.