Horta House (former home and studio of Victor Horta)

Victor Horta

This former home and studio of Victor Horta has been a museum since 1969. I was not permitted to take photographs of the interior, which is the real triumph of the house. Horta's use of natural light, the gorgeous cabinetry, and the stairwells and railings are unsurpassingly beautiful. This house and studio in Art Nouveau style, was considered very modern in its time. The Art Nouveau style, popular in Europe from the 1890s until about 1910, featured the use of organic motifs, curvilinear and abstract curves, arabesques, and a unity of architecture, interior design, and furniture.

Here the house and studio are two adjoined buildings on two adjacent plots of land. The facades are different with the house facade being slightly wider. Building restrictions imposed a height limitation on the structures.
The house facade is to the left while the studio is on the right. Unlike most houses in the area which are in brick, both facades are in stone. The same stone is on the base as in the pavement, a way of "rooting" the buildings to the ground. Both also use metal in the structure: on the studio side, a cast iron column is used for support on the first floor (above the ground floor pier between the door and window) while the second floor, almost entirely glazed, has a metal lintel and two slender columns.

Detail of house facade--second and third stories with the bow window

The abstract ornament on the center of the balcony is read as a dragonfly's body (in stone) with the iron wings at the top.

Detail of studio facade--first floor


Details of the house facade, all of the first floor and some of the second

Note the metal "I" beam which serves as support as well as a place to fix the balcony. Part of the balcony extends to serve as a roof for the house entrance.

Side view of the first and second floors of the house showing the metal consoles beneath the bow window

The metal elements often terminate in swirling tendrils. Even small windows for ventilation on the balcony are decorative.

The entrance door to the house (center) and to the studio (right)


Left and center: the ground floor railings of the studio (restored by the architect Barbara Van der Wee); right: small window of the ground floor entrance hall in the house


Decorative details: studio letter box; house door handle; ?

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© 2007 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.