Autrique's house is the first private house of Architect Victor Horta (designed in 1893 for his friend Eugène Autrique, Engineer of Solvay) and contains important elements of Art Nouveau style.
The house was recently restored according to the project of comics creators ("Les Cités Obscures", 1980) François Schuiten (son of two architects) and Benoît Peters. Their objective is to honour house architecture while opening to the imaginary world. Since December 2004, the house is opened for visits, conference, dinner, ...
More generally, 2005 was declared year of Art Nouveau. Have a look at the ptitetoile's Art Nouveau travelogue to have an overview of Art Nouveau in Brussels.
Visits from Wednesday to Sunday 12am-6pm
The maison Horta is a stunning place to wander around, and at only 5 euro, very well priced.
I'm not going to say much more about it, as others have altready done that, and the museum website is very good as well.
My tip here is after visiting the museum have a wander around the area using your ticket (which has a small map printed on it) as a guide to check out half a dozen or so other art Nouveau buildings.
The surrounding area is quite upmarket and has a number of crafty shops here and there.
The famous architect Victor Horta lived in his own creation in St Gilles, bordering Ixelles, and here you can see the house in full Art Noveau splendour with mirrors and rounded edges that he got building permission for in 1889. It is a gorgeous house that anyone would love to live in and if you don't believe me, just go for the virtual tour on the website - I have no good photos :( The website also give you links to other wonderful Art Noveau buildings in Brussels as well as organisations showing them, and you can read up on exactly what it was if you are not too familiar with the architecture so popular in Brussels, Vienna and other cities.
“Jean Delhaye, a kind of one-man Belgian fin de siècle society who is directing the reconstruction of the home Horta built for himself in Brussels, so that it can open next fall as a museum.”
— from ‘Architecture: Return to the Purple’ in Time Magazine’s 10.May.1968 issue
HOUSE MUSEUM As Horta’s assistant, Monsieur Delhaye was perfectly suited to undertake such a worthwhile project. The house and studio of Victor Horta, the grand master of Art Nouveau architecture, is a peaceful escape, filled with beautiful design elements to delight the eye. Horta applied for a building permit in August 1898. Work would continue through 1908. The façade, built from stone, has delicately designed metal railings (see photos #2 & #4).
I love the sinuous, organic vine-like shape of the front door handle (see photo #5) to Maison Horta.
Located in the St-Gilles (Sint-Gillis in Flemish) area of Bruxelles, Maison Horta is one of many Art Nouveau buildings found in this part of town.
Opening hours are limited, from 14:00 to 17:30, Tuesday to Sunday.
“I’d choose the plant’s stem.”
— Victor Horta (1861-1947), from his memoirs
Art Nouveau took its inspiration from nature. Flowers and plants were key to the style’s look. For Horta, however, the flower was too baroque; therefore he picked the stem to use as a starting point for his designs.
The Maison et Atelier Horta was built to fulfill the designer’s professional and family needs. Built between 1898 and 1901 on two lots in the St-Gilles section of Bruxelles. Following Horta’s divorce, first, he leased out the building for a period of time, but then resumed living there, making changes to the interior. These alterations included a terrace and a winter garden (see photo #5) and the atelier was enlarged.
The most spectacular element in the house is the stunning stained glass skylight (see photos #1 & #2) over the central marble staircase (see photo #4), developed in September 1899. Drawings for the railings (see photo #3) were completed in February of 1900. The placement of this staircase in the center of house, with the living space built around it, was quite radical and innovative at the time.
This is museum
Horta. Victor Horta was an outstanding architect of modern style (art
nouveau). He decided to build his own house in Bruxelles all in modern style...well...it
doesn't happen everyday to have a real masterpiece as house :)...you should see the interiors: they are just unbelievable!
The founder of the Art Nouveau movement designed and lived in an exquisite home in Brussels. The staircase and light fixtures were all wild with brass and copper tendrils. Very unique. All art lovers will enjoy.
More info in my travelogues 'Art Nouveau in Brussels'.
Art Nouveau house and atelier of Victor Horta, now a museum of Art Nouveau.
Really worth a visit!