Heritage – 4 Generations, A Centennial Legacy - A New Identity
1922-1945 - Les Architectes Polak
Michel Polak ( Mexico, January 27, 1885 – Brussels, October 4, 1948) was an architect of Swiss origin. From 1921 onwards he lived in Belgium, where he received important commissions.
After obtaining his title of architect at the Polytechnic School of Zurich (1903-1907) he attended classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris between 1907 and 1911. 1917 onwards he worked with the Swiss architect Alfred Hoch.
He settled five years later in Brussels on the invitation of the businessman in real estate and financier Lucien Kaisin and started his practice called Les Architectes Polak. He was given the commission of building, a complex of luxury apartments called “Residence Palace“ in Brussels.
Michel Polak is well known for his Art Deco buildings of the interwar period in Brussels. He mastered many architectural styles and could also combine flawlessly art deco, classicism, and modernism. He had a large knowledge of materials and could apply it well in his designs. His projects are considered an important part of the architectural heritage of Brussels. After the Second World War, his architecture practice Les Architectes Polak was continued by his two sons, André, and Jean Polak.
1945-2008 - Les Architectes Polak
André Polak ( Switzerland, 19 January 1914 – Hoeilaart, April 2, 1988 ) and Jean Polak (Switzerland, 13 June 1920 – Uccle 16 February 2012) took over their fathers’ practice and expanded it by getting involved in the massive real estate developments in Brussels after the Second World War.
They actively participated in the transformation of Brussels. Qualitative by default, their conception of office complexes, residential and commercial apartments have been impressive. In the 1970’s, André Polak’s son Jean-Michel Polak also joined the office as an architect.
The most important and monumental building of their time in Les Architectes Polak done in collaboration with civil engineer Andre Waterkyn is the monument called “ATOMIUM” in Brussels. Built as a part of the 1958 Expo held in Brussels. This building has become the emblem of modern Brussels and the architectural pride of Belgium.
Other important landmark buildings include the CERIA Campus in Brussels (1948), The national bank of Congo (1950), The office building for A.G.(1956), The Generali tower in Brussels (1966).
1972-2011 – Les Architectes Polak
Jean-Michel Polak ( Belgium, 12 June 1943 ) did his internship with renowned Mexican Architect, Ricardo Legoretta and later managed Les Architectes Polak together with his father and uncle.
He designed an important Home for elderly people in Brussels, Government buildings School Complexes, Office buildings and Industrial buildings, all over Belgium.
He has compiled and published his sketches of pre-Columbian art and monuments of Mexico and Brussels and is currently writing a book on the history of “Les Architectes Polak”. He is still actively advising his son Christophe Polack on design and management issues arising in the present architectural practice, “The Architects Polak” and the new “Sadiq and Polack”
2000 - 2020 – The Architects Polack
Christophe Polack (Belgium, 08 October 1972) started his architectural practice with Les Architectes Polak in Brussels in 1997. In the year 2000, he got married to Asiya Sadiq and moved to Karachi – Pakistan where they started a sister practice called “The Architects Polack”. After practicing in Pakistan and the region for 12 years, he moved backed to Belgium and has continued with the practice.
2021 onwards – Sadiq and Polack Architects
Practicing in Belgium for the last 8 years has brought forward a new multicultural identity for the practice. Capitalizing on the diverse backgrounds and expertise of the duo the practice is taking a new shape in the form of “Sadiq and Polack Architects” and aspires to reach out to a wider audience globally.
The transformations experienced in the last 100 years are logically taking a new turn to address contemporary issues pertaining to cities. These range from situating the practice in the middle scale amalgamating architecture and its larger contextual realities addressing design issues like, sustainability, climate change, emerging architectural and urban design typologies, post-pandemic habitats and creation of alternative practice models.
1922 – 1927
Residence Palace now named “The Europa building”, is the seat of the European Council and Council of the European Union, located on Wetstraat/Rue de la Loi in the European Quarter of Brussels.
1931 – 1934
The Villa Empain is a private house in the Art Deco style in Brussels, Belgium built in 1930–1934 by Michel Polak for the Baron Louis Empain, son of the Belgian industrialist Édouard Empain.
Built for the 1958 Brussels World Fair (Expo ’58), this Belgian Pavilion is 103-metre high structure representing a molecule of iron, magnified 165 billion times.
A series of recesses along its length lends added interest to this building of rented office space, located on the prestigious Avenue Louise.
The façade of the Honeywell complex in Evere (Brussels, Belgium) fully reflects its function as the European headquarters. In addition to large, open-plan offices.
A Four-star Hotel with a commercial gallery: Located in the prestigious setting of Grand Sablon in Brussels, the 200-room Jolly Hotel is a perfect example of architecture.
1991 – 1993
This prestigious building in the Guimard Street in Brussels comprises granite, white stone and elements in aluminium and bronze. The will to develop top-quality architecture.
1994 – 1996
Residential apartments and the renovation of the “Le Parnasse” block in Ixelles (Brussels) combines apartment buildings, shops, green areas and a luxury hotel, “the Rennaissance”.
The interior design of the “hemicycle” of the European Parliament. Members are arranged in a hemicycle according to their political groups who are ordered left to right according to their alignment.
Administrative building and Chemical plant for PHARMACIA (ex. Upjohn) in Val de Reuil (France) and Puurs (Belgium).
A series of offices and conference rooms belonging to the AG in Brussels, located around a large, tree-filled garden.
The “Colonies Square” building opposite the cathedral in Brussels radiates an impression of grandeur. The atrium is surmounted by a glass roof, which allows natural light to pervade the building.