A Brussels Art Nouveau gem, Hotel Solvay, has become a museum. Alexandre Wittamer, the owner of Hotel Solvay, and Pascal Smet, Secretary of State for Urbanism and Heritage, announced that the house opens its doors to the public twice a week.
Hotel Solvay was designed by Belgian architect Victor Horta between 1894 and 1903. Horta was one of the earliest initiators of Art Nouveau. Together with three other town houses of Horta, Hotel Solvay is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
According to UNESCO, the four town houses of Horta are “some of the most remarkable pioneering works of architecture of the end of the 19th century. The stylistic revolution represented by these works is characterised by their open plan, the diffusion of light, and the brilliant joining of the curved lines of decoration with the structure of the building.”
The Brussels Region wants to enhance the value of its heritage by making it more accessible, writes Pascal Smet on his website. Therefore, the Brussels Region financed the creation of a website for Hotel Solvay: www.hotelsolvay.be.
According to the Hotel Solvay website, the house “greatly contributed to Victor Horta’s rising reputation as a world-class architect. His new focus on the innate vitality of people led him to change many accepted practices. He adapted and altered metal frame used in industrial structures to bring radically new qualities to the inner space of a home.”
“I am pleased that the Hotel Solvay will frequently open to the public. This gives hope to the cultural and tourism sector, both of them suffering a lot because of the health crisis. From now on, both Brussels residents and tourists will be able to visit this Art Nouveau masterpiece in complete safety, and enjoy a dose of culture with a trip back in time. Thanks to this opening, Brussels will be able to further enhance its rich offer of cultural, heritage and tourist attractions”, said Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels Region.