At the end of the 19th century, Art Nouveau marked a major shift in the evolution of architecture. The Hôtel Tassel (1893), Hôtel Solvay (1894), Hôtel van Eetvelde (1895), and Victor Horta’s house and studio are perfect examples of this. It therefore comes as no surprise that they have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000.
This stylistic revolution, in which Horta was the trailblazer, is characterised by open plan, the diffusion of light, the introduction of steel and glass, and the integration of curved lines into buildings and decorative objects.
Horta’s attention to detail, combined with his genius, make his homes unique works of art. Nothing is left to chance, from door handles to the smallest decorative accessory. He wanted buildings to reflect the personality of their owner and illustrate his desire to consider architecture and decoration as a whole.
The Hôtel Tassel and the Hôtel Van Eetvelde are two examples of double houses, connected by a circular space under a glass roof which can be used as a winter garden. At the Hôtel Solvay, this space becomes almost magical thanks to the choice of both the colours and the materials. In his house/studio, it is the elegant, refined staircase that becomes the key element. The interior decorations, floor, walls, metalwork and furniture are also created and personalised with care.
These houses are therefore major examples of Art Nouveau, perfectly illustrating the transition in terms of art, thought and society at the time.
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The Horta Museum was incredibly beautiful – An Art Nouveau fantasy house completed in 1901. I went around twice to soak it all up as they have a strict no photography rule (these shots are all pro). Photos do not do it justice at all. That massive ornate door was open and backed onto a garden and the staircase and stained glass features are amazing. The sewing room which I can't find a picture of even had wallpaper by William Morris. So much eye candy. Definitely in my happy place when exploring buildings like this. Sadly a lot of the best stuff is closed to the public here or only open once a year 😍 #artnouveau #horta #victorhorta #architecture #brussels #belgium #artnouveaustyle #building #architectureporn #unesco