Visits / Exhibition  

Former Hôtel van Eetvelde

A. de Ville de Goyet ©

Begun in 1895, when Art Nouveau was still in its infancy, the Hôtel van Eetvelde can be considered one of Victor Horta's finest architectural achievements. Its interior testifies to his flair for arranging spaces, diffusing natural light and using coloured materials. The house was designed for Edmond van Eetvelde, a prominent diplomat and advisor to King Leopold II. When building it, Horta made extensive use of exposed metal structures, an approach previously only seen in industrial construction, devising an oriel that filled the entire width of the façade over two levels. A second wing, this time in white stone, was added between 1899 and 1900. Mosaics criss-crossed by trailing creepers welcome visitors into the hallway and beckon them towards the rotunda that houses the staircase and the breathtaking glass dome above it. Graceful columns stretch upwards like plant stems, supporting the ribbed canopy whose stained glass, featuring stylised leaves and flower stalks, attractively tints the natural light. Plant motifs are also very much in evidence in the American stained glass – depicting elegant shrubs – that adorns the double door between the winter garden and the dining room. Meanwhile, the dining room itself still has its original embossed tapestry wall coverings, showing plants, elephants and starfish in shades of ochre, green and brown. (Listed 18/11/1976)

The LAB·An or Art Nouveau Laboratory is located in the extension to the Hôtel van Eetvelde, one of Victor Horta's finest creations, which is now open to the public. 

It is a space for the promotion of Art Nouveau that takes a contemporary look at this Belgian and Brussels heritage and the themes it encompasses. In addition, there is a reflection on the conservation of our Art Nouveau heritage through the rebirth of the Hôtel Aubecq and an introduction to the links between Art Nouveau and Belgian colonisation.

The temporary exhibition Aubecq: Fragments is an immersive experience about one of Victor Horta's major creations, the Hôtel Aubecq. All we have of the building now are fragments: part of the façade, a few plans and some rare black-and-white photographs. The film offers a free interpretation of the available archive material, in an attempt to bring this masterpiece, destroyed in 1950, back to life.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun. 10:00 to 17:00

Avenue Palmerston/Palmerstonlaan 2-4 – Brussels-Extensions

Advance booking not required

Non accessible

Non accessible