Writing & photos: Curiositas Mundus Team.
If you are a lover of art and architecture, the Brussels region is a treasure trove of magnificent Art Nouveau buildings. This form of architectural expression, popular at the turn of the 19th century, is characterised by curvilinear elegance, ornate detailing and a harmonious fusion of architecture and decorative arts. In this guide, we will take you on a fascinating journey through ten of the region’s most important buildings, and introduce you to the talented architects behind them.
1. HÔTEL TASSEL: Designed by Victor Horta, this historic building is considered one of the earliest examples of the Art Nouveau style. Despite its unusual symmetrical façade, the Hôtel Tassel captivates with its innovative use of iron and glass, floral details and organic, flowing interior design.
2. MAISON SAINT-CYR: The work of Gustave Strauven, this house impresses with its curved façade and wrought-iron floral ornamentation. Strauven’s design makes masterful use of natural light, and its elegant central staircase is a true work of art.
3. MAISON & ATELIER HORTA: Victor Horta’s former residence and studio is a testament to the architect’s creative genius. With its brick façade and wrought-iron details, the building captivates visitors with its rich ornamentation and exquisite interior design.
4. HÔTEL SOLVAY: Another impressive design by Victor Horta, the Hôtel Solvay features a spectacular wrought iron staircase and decorative stained glass windows. The fusion of stone and iron on its façade creates a unique and sophisticated look.
5. MAISON CAUCHIE: This house, conceived by Paul Cauchie with designs by Lina Cauchie, is an Art Nouveau treasure clad in decorative tiles with floral and geometric motifs. Inside, you will find wall paintings and intricate details that will transport you to another era.
6. HÔTEL VAN EETVELDE: Another Victor Horta marvel, the Hôtel van Eetvelde will captivate you with its brick and stone façade, together with decorative wrought iron elements. Its interiors will surprise you with elegant details and an innovative spatial layout. And it just opened to the public!
7. MAISON AUTRIQUE: One of Victor Horta’s first masterpieces, Maison Autrique stands out for its brick façade with wrought iron details. Its use of curved lines and organic decorative elements represents the very essence of Art Nouveau.
8. PALAIS STOCLET: Designed by Josef Hoffmann, this palace is an Art Nouveau landmark announcing the Art Deco. Its facade with geometric motifs and gold ornamentation radiates luxury and elegance. Inside, you will find exquisitely decorated rooms with unique furniture and design details, which will transport you to the and design details that will transport you back to an era of splendor and opulence.
9. HÔTEL CIAMBERLANI: Designed by Paul Hankar, this house combines Art Nouveau and neoclassical elements. Its brick façade with wrought-iron balconies and ornamental ceramic details reflects Hankar’s creativity and his ability to fuse different architectural styles.
10: MAISON HANNON: Located in the heart of Brussels, Maison Hannon is a breathtaking architectural gem that showcases the rich history and sophistication of the city. This seven-story masterpiece boasts a harmonious blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, with intricate ironwork, stained glass windows, and ornate facades that mesmerize visitors. Step inside, and you’ll be transported to a world of elegance and opulence. The interior is adorned with grand chandeliers, marble staircases, and meticulously crafted woodwork, creating a sense of timeless grandeur. With its exquisite design and attention to detail, Maison Hannon is a must-visit destination for architecture enthusiasts and anyone seeking a glimpse into the splendor of Brussels’ past.
Each of these Art Nouveau buildings is an architectural gem in its own right, but it also reflects the talent and vision of the architects behind them. Victor Horta, Gustave Strauven, Paul Cauchie, Josef Hoffmann, Paul Hankar and Henry van de Velde are names that have left an indelible legacy in the history of architecture.
As you explore these buildings, you can admire the innovation and creativity that defined the Art Nouveau movement. They are not only impressive structures, but also testaments to an era when art and architecture merged in a harmonious embrace.
Whether you’re fascinated by exquisite ornamentation, curved lines or the integration of nature into the design, these buildings will transport you to a golden age of architecture.
So don’t miss the opportunity to explore these Art Nouveau treasures in the Brussels region. Immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of these buildings, and be inspired by the visionary creativity of the architects who created them. Your journey through Art Nouveau awaits you in beautiful Brussels!
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