Around 1925, the architects who adopted the Art Deco style often had an international outlook and close relations with the business world. This was the case up until the Universal Exhibition in Heysel (Brussels) in 1935, which attracted over twenty million visitors to its monumental buildings.
Here, we must certainly mention the figure of Lucien Kaisin, a lawyer and brilliant financier, who was one of the first Belgian promoters of modern apartment life. In 1921, he commissioned Michel Polak to design the vast complex known as the Résidence Palace (1922-28), the Brussels prototype for a luxurious lifestyle, with the apartments supplemented with a high-quality hotel service, and offering the capital’s first panoramic restaurant. The two men met in Montreux and the start of work on the Résidence Palace prompted Michel Polak to leave Switzerland and move to Brussels with his associate Alfred Hoch.
Very soon, Michel Polak became a key figure in Brussels Art Deco and carried out many projects there, including the Atlanta (1924-1928), Terminus-Albert I (1928-1929) and Plaza (1929-1930) hotels, as well as the Anspach department store (1927-1935) and the administrative offices of Compagnie d’Entreprises électriques Électrobel (1929-1933). He deployed his particularly lavish style in large buildings which remain classical, despite adopting decoration influenced by the Vienna Secession.