Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels)

Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels)

The four major town houses - Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde, and Maison & Atelier Horta - located in Brussels and designed by the architect Victor Horta, one of the earliest initiators of Art Nouveau, are some of the most remarkable pioneering works of architecture of the end of the 19th century. The stylistic revolution represented by these works is characterised by their open plan, the diffusion of light, and the brilliant joining of the curved lines of decoration with the structure of the building.

Habitations majeures de l'architecte Victor Horta (Bruxelles)

Les quatre habitations majeures – l'Hôtel Tassel, l'Hôtel Solvay, l'Hôtel van Eetvelde et la maison et l'atelier de Horta – situées à Bruxelles et conçues par l'architecte Victor Horta, l'un des initiateurs de l'Art nouveau, font partie des œuvres d'architecture novatrices les plus remarquables de la fin du XIXe siècle. La révolution stylistique qu'illustrent ces œuvres se caractérise par le plan ouvert, la diffusion de la lumière et la brillante intégration des lignes courbes de la décoration à la structure du bâtiment.

أهم المساكن الخاصة من تصميم المهندس فكتور أورتا (بروكسل)

تُعتبر المساكن الخاصة الرئيسة الأربعة أي فندق تاسل، وفندق سولفيه، وفندق فان إيتفيلده ومنزل المهندس أورتا ومشغله، القائمة في بروكسل والتي صمّمها المهندس فكتور أورتا بنفسه، وهو أحد مطلقي الفن الجديد، من أبرز الأعمال الهندسية المبتكرة في أواخر القرن التاسع عشر. وتظهر الثورة الفنية المجسّدة في هذه الأعمال من خلال الرسم الفني المفتوح وانتشار الضوء والإندماج المذهل للخطوط المنحنية في الزخرفة بهيكلية البناء.

source: UNESCO/ERI

建筑师维克多•奥尔塔设计的主要城市建筑(布鲁塞尔)

在布鲁塞尔,有四座出自设计名师、“新艺术运动”(Art Nouveau)最早发起人之一维克多·奥尔塔(Victor Horta)之手的建筑,它们分别是塔塞尔公馆(Hôtel Tassel)、索勒维公馆(Hôtel Solvay)、埃特维尔德公馆(Hôtel van Eetvelde)和奥尔塔公馆(Maison & Atelier Horta)。这四座建筑是19世纪末欧洲建筑中的先锋之作。这些建筑所代表的风格革命的特点在于开放式布局、漫射的光线和装饰曲线与建筑结构的完美结合。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Городские особняки архитектора Виктора Орта в Брюсселе

Четыре городских особняка – Отель-Тассель, Отель-Сольве, Отель-ван-Этвельде, а также собственный дом-мастерская Орта, расположенные в Брюсселе, сооружены одним из основоположников стиля модерн (арт-нуво) – архитектором Виктором Орта. Они относятся к самым выдающимся пионерным архитектурным творениям конца XIX в. Революционная смена стилей в архитектуре этих зданий выразилась в их открытом плане, в эффекте рассеивания света, а также в органичном сочетании округлых линий декора со структурой всего здания.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Casas principales del arquitecto Ví­ctor Horta (Bruselas)

Situadas en Bruselas y diseñadas por el arquitecto Víctor Horta, uno de los iniciadores del “Art Nouveau”, la Casa Tassel, la Casa Solvay, la Casa Van Eetvelde y la vivienda-estudio del propio arquitecto forman parte de las obras arquitectónicas más innovadoras de fines del siglo XIX. La revolución estilística de la que son representativas se observa en su plano abierto, así como en la difusión de la luz y la genial fusión de las líneas curvas de su decoración con las estructuras de fábrica.

source: UNESCO/ERI

建築家ヴィクトール・オルタによる主な邸宅群(ブリュッセル)

source: NFUAJ

Grote stadswoningen van architect Victor Horta (Brussel)

De vier grote stadswoningen in Brussel - Hôtel Tassel, Hotel Solvay, Hotel van Eetvelde en Maison Atelier Horta - zijn enkele van de meest opmerkelijke en baanbrekende architectuurwerken van het einde van de 19e eeuw. Ze zijn ontworpen door de architect Victor Horta, een van de eerste initiatiefnemers van de Art Nouveau. De stilistische revolutie van de woningen kenmerkt zich door hun open ontwerp, de verspreiding van het licht en de briljante verbinding van gebogen decoratielijnen met de gebouwstructuur. De stadwoningen van Horta getuigen van een radicale nieuwe aanpak waarmee ze gelden als grootste uitdrukking van de Art Nouveau stijl.

Source: unesco.nl

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Main foyer of Hotel Tassel.The major townhouses of the architect Victor Horta. © OUR PLACE THE WORLD HERITAGE COLLECTION
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (i): The Town Houses of Victor Horta in Brussels are works of human creative genius, representing the highest expression of the influential Art Nouveau style in art and architecture.

Criterion (ii): The appearance of Art Nouveau in the closing years of the 19th century marked a decisive stage in the evolution of architecture, making possible subsequent developments, and the Town Houses of Victor Horta in Brussels bear exceptional witness to its radical new approach.

Criterion (iv): The Town Houses of Victor Horta are outstanding examples of Art Nouveau architecture brilliantly illustrating the transition from the 19th to the 20th century in art, thought, and society.

Long Description

The appearance of Art Nouveau in the closing years of the 19th century marked a decisive stage in the evolution of architecture, making possible subsequent developments, and the four town houses of Victor Horta in Brussels (Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde, Maison et Atelier Horta) bear exceptional witness to its radical new approach. They brilliantly illustrate the transition from the 19th to the 20th centuries in art, thought and society. The stylistic revolution represented by these works is characterized by their open plan, the diffusion of light, and the brilliant joining of the curved lines of decoration with the structure of the building.

The Hôtel Tassel can be considered the founding work of Art Nouveau. Commissioned by Professor Emile Tassel in 1893, it was the first work in which Horta was able to realize his original conception of architecture. The house was finished in 1894, but Horta continued designing the furniture for some years. After the Second World War, the house was split into small flats so that little of the decoration remained visible. In 1976 the street facade and the main doors were restored and the building was adapted as prestige offices. The street facade, built from stone, is remarkably integrated into its context. Above the entrance there is a two-storey bow window in an innovative steel structure. On the street site the building has the entrance floor, a mezzanine, first and second floor, and an attic. These levels are shifted towards the garden side by way of a central staircase.

Commissioned by Armand Solvay, the Hôtel Solvay was built from 1895 to 1898, with furniture completed in 1903. In 1957 the building became the seat of a fashion house; in 1980 the owners started the restoration of the building, including the restitution of the glass roofs of the main staircase, cooling of the interior decoration, and restoring the facade. It is the best preserved of all Horta's house and still maintains its interior intact, including original art objects and the utilities in functional order.

In 1895 the diplomat and Secretary General of Congo, Van Eetvelde, commissioned the house that bears his name and construction started in 1897. The building was to provide a home for the family and a prestigious setting for the reception of international guests. The west wing area was completed in 1900 and the east wing in 1901. In 1920, after the death of Mme Van Eetvelde the property was divided in two parts.

The Maison et Atelier Horta responded to the professional and family needs of the architect, and were built in 1898-1901 on two lots in a fashionable district of the town. After his divorce, he leased the building for a while, but then continued living there, making changes in the interior; a terrace and a winter garden were added and the atelier was enlarged. The facade is built from stone and has delicately designed metal railings. The most spectacular element in the building is represented by the vast glass ceiling over the main staircase. In 1919 the buildings were sold to Major Henri Pinte and in 1926 the two parts of the building were separated. In 1961 the Commune of Saint Gilles acquired the residential part for a museum of Horta's work.

The four town houses by Victor Horta form an essential link from the classical tradition to the Modern Movement in the history of architecture, as conceived by one of the pioneers of Art Nouveau. He revolutionized the architectural concepts of his time by introducing the idea of an open plan and creating real dialogue of materials and their uses according to their intrinsic nature within a new way of conceiving decoration. The Horta buildings revive the 19th-century tradition of bourgeois residential buildings, combining residential and representational functions, which require a subtle organization of spaces and differentiated circulation. In each case, Horta's genius created a coherent unity of architecture and decoration, reflecting the personality of the owner. 

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The Hôtel Tassel can be considered the founding work of Art Nouveau. Commissioned by Professor Emile Tassel in 1893, it was the first work in which Victor Horta was able to realize his original conception of architecture, with all the characteristic features that he developed in his other town houses. The house was finished in 1894, but Horta continued designing the furniture for some years, as well as making some minor changes requested by the client. When completed, the Hôtel Tassel raised mixed reactions, but it was soon considered a key building in the development of modern architecture. After World War II the house was split up into small flats so that little of the decoration remained visible. In 1976 the architect Jean Delhaye bought the house, restored the street facade and the main doors, and adapted the building to function as prestige offices.

Commissioned by Armand Solvay, the Hôtel Solvay was built from 1895 to 1898, with furniture completed in 1903. The construction of stables was designed by the architects C Bosmans and H Vandeveld, beginning in 1899, though Horta may have been consulted for the design. The Solvay family kept the house until 1957, when M and Mme Wittamer-De Camps bought it, thus avoiding its demolition. The building became the seat of their fashion house, bringing some changes. The southern light-well, of which the glass had been broken in 1942, was closed by atelier floors. At the ground level two large display windows were opened. After transferring the fashion activity elsewhere in 1980, the owners started the restoration of the building, including the restitution of the glass roofs of the main staircase (1980-82), cooling of the interior decoration, and restoring the façades (1988-89).

Commissioned by M and Mme Van Eetvelde in 1895, the construction of the Hôtel Van Eetvelde started in 1897; the west wing was completed in 1900, and the east wing in 1901. In 1920, after the death of Mme Van Eetvelde, the property was divided in two parts. The original building and the east wing (4 avenue Palmerston) were sold to the Pouppez de Kettenis family, who lived there for some 30 years. In 1950, it was bought by the current owner, the Fédération de l'Industrie du Gaz (FIGAZ), who used the main floor for representation. A garage was added to the east wing, and in 1966 offices were added to the light-well. In 1988, FIGAZ started a restoration, conducted by a former student of Horta, the architect Jean Delhaye, and the architect Barbara Van der Wee. The west wing was connected with the corner building in 1920, resulting in some unfortunate changes. When the Nicolaides-Hoffman family acquired the building in 1926, they wanted to demolish it, but were fortunately not given the permit. Finally the building was bought by Jean Delhaye as his personal residence.

The Maison & Atelier Horta responded to the professional and family needs of the architect, and were built in 1898- 1901 on two lots in a fashionable district of the town. Soon after completion, Horta made some modifications, expanding the house into the garden in 1906. After his divorce, he leased the buildings for a while, but then continued living there, making changes in the interior; a terrace and a winter garden were added, and the atelier was enlarged. In 1911 the street front was modified when Horta introduced a garage. In 1919 the buildings were sold to Major Henri Pinte and in 1926 the two parts of the building were separated. In 1961 the Commune of Saint-Gilles acquired the residential part for a museum of Horta's work. The building was restored in 1967 by Jean Delhaye, to accommodate its use as a museum, and further works were carried out in the 1970s and 1980s. A new restoration was initiated in 1989.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation