Light as a symbol was important in the history of the working class of Ghent. The city always has been an industrial hub, resulting in an enormous working class among the population and a strong socialist movement called ‘Vooruit’. Numerous relics in the city remind us of that period, with this one being one of my esthetical favorites. It’s the former headquarters of the socialist newspaper ‘Vooruit’ and the printing office ‘Het Licht’ (in English: Light, in the meaning of the rising sun) built in 1930 with the important symbol of light as the main element of the facade.
If you want to see this architectural gem at its best, come at sunrise (got it?) or at sunset, when the facade is beautifully lit in a nice combination with the sunlight. It was recently renovated, so when I’m on my weekly architectural expedition trough the city this might be a stop. We don’t have that many art deco buildings close to the city center so this one is worth the visit together with House Van Waes (check the article) only 300 meters away.
From the terrace of Kunstencentrum Vooruit (check the article) right across the street, you’ll have a nice perspective while you’re having a drink and studying the beautiful details, colors and materials architect Fernand Brunfaut used for this beauty. The used glass & typography make me happy.
Unfortunately, you can’t visit the building on the inside anymore, but its facade will enlighten you for sure. It sure does that to me.