This Brussels town house is widely considered to be the first structure built in Art Nouveau style. Designed by architect Victor Horta in 1894, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site along with three of Horta’s other iconic hotels. Horta was a pioneer of the Art Nouveau transition away from the classical tradition to modern architectural design.
The town house’s floor plan, materials, and decorations, including custom built furniture, were highly innovative at the time of their construction. The two main parts are connected by a steel structure with a glass roof that brings in much of the rooms’ natural light. With mosaics and stained glass throughout, much of the house’s beauty is due to the small lavish details Horta urged. The use of stone alongside a modern use of metal materials was groundbreaking in the 19th century. The open floor plan and curved lines of decoration blend seamlessly with the square structure of the rooms, another progressive architectural move.