Hôtel Tassel: the first Art Nouveau house
Listed since 1976, the Hôtel Tassel, together with architect Victor Horta's house-studio, the Hôtel Solvay and the Hôtel van Eetvelde with its extension, form part of the "Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta", which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is considered the first Art Nouveau building in Europe.
It includes one of the best known and most emblematic stairwells of a style that was to seduce the Brussels bourgeoisie and already contains all the characteristics that Horta would later develop in his other houses, namely the use of an exposed iron structure, the integration of the decoration into the structure, the fluidity of the space organised around the vestibule and the stairwell, with the influx of light enhanced by the skylights and light shafts, and the creation of a greenhouse in the heart of the house. He was an advocate of original work, created by the skilled craftsmen who surrounded him and with whom he prepared every detail of his work. Horta exploited the dualism of materials, the contrasts between stone and metal through which he created a varied vocabulary of curves, "whiplash lines", peduncles and folds.