"If it is correct that logic is the basis of a creator's
slightest reasoning, I believe that it must not be allowed
to interfere with one's dreams of "charm", that delicate
superfluous entity which often adds to harsh necessity'"
Works and influence
• Victor, Baron Horta (6 January
1861 - 8 September 1947) was a
Belgian architect and designer.
• One of the key European Art
• is sometimes credited as the first
to introduce the style to
architecture from the decorative
arts, especially in Belgium.
• Born and raised in Ghent ; Born in the family of a shoemaker
• In 1873, went to study musical theory at the Ghent
STUDY MUSICAL • Expelled for misbehaviour. Joined Department of Architecture
at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent
LEFT FOR PARIS
• Found work with architect and designer Jules Debuysson
• Went to study architecture at Academie Royale Des Beaux-Arts
FIRST GLASS &
Taken as assistant by his professor Alphonse Balat,
architect to Leopold II of Belgium- together designed
Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
(Horta's first work to use glass and iron)
Image 1 : Winter Garden
Image 1 : http://passages.altaplana.be/galerie/1Bruxelles/jarroyGen.htm
Image 1: The Dome
Image 4: Ornamentation on ribs
Image 3 : Winter Garden - Inside
Image 2 : The Cupola
Image 6 : Ornamentation of
Image 1 :http://www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2011/03/01/theroyal-greenhouses-of-laeken/
Image 2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daphnewaynebough
Image 3: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daphnewaynebough
Image 4: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruxelles5/454426254
Image 5: Detailing of the Dome
Image 5: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jfreund1/8707076680
Image 6: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruxelles5/4544259496/
WON THE FIRST
• awarded for achitecture(for his unbuilt project for Parliament) as
well as the Grand Prix on leaving the royal academy.
• 3 houses that yr. joined central society of Belgian architecture.
• Horta was inspired. Commissioned to design a home for
professor Emile Tassel, he transfused the recent influences
into Hôtel Tassel, completed in 1893
• attended the Town Planning Conference on the Reconstruction of
Belgium, organised by the International Garden Cities and Town
• Unable to return ,due to the war, went to the United States, gave
lectures at universities including Cornell, Harvard, MIT, Smith College,
Wellesley College and Yale and, in 1917, became Professor of
Architecture at George Washington University, and Charles Eliot
Norton Memorial Lecturer
He revolutionized the typical
traditional Plan of the private
houses from Brussels
(three adjoining rooms) by
means of An organic
ornamental form. (As can be
seen of Hotel Tassel)
TYPICAL BELGIAN HOUSES
consider to be the first Art Nouveau
building, TASSEL HOUSE.
an alternate "take" on historical
styles, and the modern materials of iron
and glass. The stone exterior includes the
consoles, mouldings, and columns of
classical architecture. But the columns are
iron, not stone. The building had a
smooth, fluid façade, unlike the carefully
articulated planes of true classical buildings.
Supported and supporting elements
- Built-in support (you can
do without bearing walls).
Rafters, and iron sight
(element of the set)
Fine wrought iron
Its shape is narrow and deep justified because
Brussels is not exceeded the ground and the
house suited to the unlikely soil. No clash
Building of three floors and an attic:
1st floor: windows separated by stone
2nd floor: gallery with high iron
columns and glass.
3rd floor: terrace with iron railings.
Decorative elements of the facade very
original for the time.
Walls covered with stone masonry.
Facade with large areas of glass to
improve interior lighting. Wavy.
Stone columns separate
Columns metal gate
It integrates all the arts, the
interior being very important,
taking care to detail in the
decoration: door knobs, railings,
gates, mosaics, wall paintings,
lamps, furniture, etc..
External Façade Windows
1901 HOTEL VAN ETVELDE
Horta found it the best expression to his ideas. His skill is demonstrated in his ability to slip his
domestic designs into narrow constricted sites. The interiors become of great importance as
centres of light, which permeates through the filigree domes and skylights—usually in the
centre of the building. The Hotel van Eetvelde is a remarkable example of the way Horta
handled the situation and used it to highlight the imposing staircase, which leads up to the
first-floor reception rooms."
1901 HOTEL VAN ETVELDE - ELEVATION
Recessed ground floor with the first and
second floors resting on iron consoles
The facade has bays with arched windows
and exposed metalwork.
The top story with carved
tendrils in stone and
mosaic decoration on the facade
Door Handle Detail
• Sold his workshop workshop on the rue Américaine(American Street),
and became full member of Belgian royal family
• Change of style , Art Deco and Cubist styles seen
• In recognition of his work, Horta was awarded the title of Baron by
Albert I of Belgium in 1932
• Died while working on his last project. Brussels Central Railway Station
Another shift- to Modernism.
• His colleagues led by Maxime Brunfaut completed his plans.
• The Brussels Central Railway station was finally opened
On the rue
er up the hill, the Centre
was not permitted to spoil
the king’s view of the lower
town. The height of the
building was therefore
strictly limited and the
majority of the "Palace"
was built underground.
finally built between 1923 and
1928) which associates the
demands of the site with a
noble simplicity, reflecting
Horta’s refinement and ideas of
course but without neglecting
his mission : enhancing the
museum’s future collections.
Museum in Tournai
Horta was working on Brussels-Central railway station when he died
in 1947, and the building was completed to his plans by his
colleagues led by Maxime Brunfaut. It eventually opened on 4
1861 – Birth
1873- went to study music
1878 – left for paris
1880- death of father
1884 – won Prix Godecharle
1885- own practice starts
1888- joins freemasons
1892 – head of graphic design at universitie libre; attended art nouveau exhibition
1893 – returned to design houses n shops; promoted to prof; hotel tassel completed
1898- his own residence
1901 – hotel van eetvelde
1915- left for london
1919 – returns to belgium
1927- director, academe royale des beaux arts
1932 – Named Baron
PALAIS DES BEAUX-ARTS
HOTEL VAN ETVELDE
THE BRUSSELS CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION
TRANSITION THROUGH LIFE
Typical Details of Horta’s Buildings
Victor Horta used
Iron railings in curved lines
Stenciled walls and ceilings
Mosaic floor tiles
Exposed cast iron structurally
A centralised floor plan
Glass and iron facades
Muted colours (olive, mustard, sage, brown gold, salmon…)
Philosophy of innovation : Iron was only accepted for industrial
use, his philosophy was based on apparent use of iron
framework used in a very efficient manner
Beams used by him
"My stay in Paris, walking the city streets, visiting
the monuments and museums threw wide open the
windows of my artistic soul. No school could have
done more to tire me with an enthusiasm for
architecture than viewing and deciphering those
monuments - an enthusiasm that has never left me."
Influence of Paris
Inspiration were drawn from
theories of ‘ Eugene Viollet – le –
Duc’ – projects based on an imp
notion of rationality.
is necessary to step back
from traditional architectural
rules and to privilege a
consistency and a strong
coherence between the plan, the
façade and the purpose of the
of a new material had
to be reflected by the usage of
Eugene Viollet le Duc
The Art Nouveau Movement
Art Nouveau Movement considered that each
material should be presented by its own formal
As a student of Alphonse Balat, Horta was highly
influenced by the Art Nouveau theories.
• George Kohlmeir, House of Glass
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