Horta inside out: A year dedicated to this architectural genius


1 January to 31 December 2018

Hotel Solvay/Photo by: Pinterest

One of the greatest architects of his generation, Victor Horta, certainly left his mark onBrussels. From the Horta House to the Hôtel Tassel and the Horta-Lambeaux Pavilion, it was about time we paid tribute to this master of Art Nouveau by dedicating a whole year to his work and creative genius.

Victor Horta moved to Brussels in 1881 and went to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. His teacher, Alphonse Balat (the architect behind the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken), saw his potential and took him on as an assistant. Very quickly, he became fascinated by curves, light and steel. He soon joined the inner circle of the Masonic lodge that would launch his career.

The Autrique House was built in 1893, followed closely by the wonderful Hôtel Tassel. This period was the start of a long series of showpieces which dotted Brussels with buildings with innovative spaces and bright skylights.

Horta, one of the earliest instigators, heralded the modern movement of Art Nouveau architecture. The stylistic revolution represented by these works is characterised by their open plan, diffusion and transformation of light throughout the construction, the creation of a decor that brilliantly illustrates the curved lines of decoration embracing the structure of the building, the use of new materials (steel and glass), and the introduction of modern technical utilities. Through the rational use of the metallic structures, often visible or subtly dissimulated, Victor Horta conceived flexible, light and airy living areas, directly adapted to the personality of their inhabitants. (Source: Unesco, Major townhouses of the architect Victor Horta (Brussels)

Rich in this architectural heritage, Brussels owed it to Horta to honour his genius for a whole year. About twenty Brussels cultural institutions have got involved for you to discover or rediscover Victor Horta from every angle.

Throughout the year, they are proposing a series of activities revolving around the architect: exhibitions, guided tours, educational activities, entertainment. A great way to commemorate the work of this extraordinary architect.

Photo by: whc.unesco.org



Exhibitions all year round

«Horta and the Waucquez Stores»

Art Nouveau masterpiece designed by Victor Horta, the old Waucquez Stores, which are now home to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, were inaugurated on 31 March 1906. This exhibition gives visitors the chance to discover, through exceptional photographs and documents, a Brussels adventure symbolic of the 20th century: the birth and life of the Waucquez fabric stores as well as the building’s transformation into the comic strip museum. You will also discover a selection of illustrations by comic strip illustrators inspired by the story of the old Waucquez Stores.


Belgian Comic Strip Centre

1 January to 31 December 2018


«Victor Horta’s Studio House»

The Horta Museum is located in the house and studio of the architect Victor Horta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between 1898 and 1901 at numbers 23 and 25, Rue Américaine in Saint-Gilles, the two buildings are typical of the Art Nouveau era at its peak. The interior decoration has been largely preserved, with mosaics, stained glass and murals forming a harmonious and elegant whole, down to the last detail.


Horta Museum

1 January to 31 December 2018

Photo by: Erasmus en Flandes



“The Autrique House: Interior of a townhouse built by Victor Horta»

In 1893, Victor Horta was commissioned to build a house for his friend Eugène Autrique, a mechanical engineer. This was one of the first townhouses built by the architect, and it already reveals some of his most notable elements: the beginnings of a connection with the pavement, wall claddings of varying thicknesses, symmetry coexisting with asymmetry, not to mention the use of metal and other industrial materials.


The Autrique House

1 January to 31 December 2018


«At the birthplace of Art Nouveau»

This exhibition, organised by the Directorate of Monuments and Sites in the Region of Brussels Capital, provides an overall introduction to the work of the architect Victor Horta with a presentation of his major works built in Brussels. The presentation invites visitors to discover the secrets behind the creative work of one of Art Nouveau’s greatest artists, a movement which revolutionised European spatial and architectural concepts at the dawn of the 20th century. A series of photographs, documents and plans highlight the value of this extraordinary legacy.



15 January to 31 December 2018


“The Wolfers Store”

In 1912 the Wolfers Frères jewellers and goldsmiths opened on Rue d’Arenberg inside a grand building designed by Victor Horta. In 1973, the store was dismantled and refitted as part of the Royal Museums of Art and History. Finally in 2017, 105 years after it opened, the inside has not only been completely restored, but returned to the original layout as Horta designed it. The original windows display some of the masterpieces of Art Nouveau and Art Déco.

Cinquantenaire Museum

1 January to 31 December 2018 (open from 28 November 2017)


Photo by: Erasmus en Flandes


Temporary exhibitions

«Unbuilt Horta»

Every summer, CIVA organises an exhibition with the theme «Unbuilt Brussels» presenting documents from its archives relating to architectural and urban projects that were never brought to fruition. This year, the exhibition is dedicated to Victor Horta, focusing mainly on his grand project to rebuild the block between the Palace of Fine Arts and the Central Station, and the Congo Pavilion designed for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900.



1 June to 15 October 2018


“Light in the work of Victor Horta: from Hôtel Tassel to the Central Station” Throughout his career, Horta aimed to capture light in his buildings—light that was sorely lacking in traditional bourgeois interiors. Here, visitors will be able to appreciate the variety of ingenious solutions thought up by Horta to let light into the innermost parts of his buildings. Fourteen buildings, from the Hôtel Tassel to the Central Station, have been

selected to illustrate a lighting problem dealt with in an original way by Horta.


Horta Museum (in collaboration with CIVA)

20 March to 30 June 2018


Victor Horta’s Centre for Fine Arts. A Work in Progress

On the 90th anniversary of the Centre for Fine Arts, BOZAR is organising a one-off exhibition about the building. Victor Horta’s Centre for Fine Arts. A Work in progress brings together architectural models, unprecedented documents from the Blaton Papers, plans for future modifications, and architectural installations and interventions.

Tasse House/Photo by: Pinterest


Centre for Fine Arts – BOZAT

27 April to 26 August 2018


“Horta Motifs. Fabric and wallpaper in Brussels houses»

Art Nouveau was a very significant period for the creation of wallpaper and fabrics. Inside Art Nouveau buildings, both Victor Horta and his contemporaries gave meaning to the concept of total art and revolutionised the applied arts, abolishing the hierarchy between different forms of plastic art. Original motifs, complex craftwork… the exhibition restores this fragile heritage to the place it deserves in the history of forms.



The Autrique House

15 April to 30 January 2019


“The Temple of Human Passions – the first building built by Victor Horta in Brussels”

In 1890, Victor Horta was entrusted the task of designing a building to house the monumental marble relief «Human Passions» by the sculptor Jef Lambeaux. The architect had trouble curbing the sculptor’s desire to leave his mark on the building’s architecture. But the result was breathtaking: although classical at first sight, the building turned out tobe very innovative and clearly announced the emergence of Art Nouveau.

Cinquantenaire Museum

24 March to 28 October 2018


Photo by: music.org.za


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