- Horta, Victor Pierre
- (1861-1947)Victor Horta was born in Ghent on 6 January 1861. He studied in Ghent and spent more than a year in Paris before returning to Belgium on his father's death in June 1880. He settled in Brussels, where he won the gold medal of the Grand Prix in architecture at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts in 1884. He then worked in the studio of Alphonse Balat. Horta's first major works—the Autrique house (chaussée de Haecht 226) and the Tassel house (rue Paul Émile Janson 6) in 1892-1893—proved immensely popular and led to a decade of prodigious effort that marked him as one of the outstanding architects of art nouveau. The Frison (rue Libeau 37, May 1894), Solvay (avenue Louise 224, September 1894), and Baron van Eetvelde (avenue Palmerston 4, July 1895) houses and the Maison du Peuple (1896-1899, demolished 1965) are noteworthy for their interior architecture. He also designed department stores —l'Innovation (rue Neuve, 1902, destroyed 1967), the Grand Bazar Anspach (1903, demolished 1935), and Magasins Wolfers, designed for goldsmith Philippe Wolfers on the rue d'Arenberg in 1909.Horta maintained working quarters on the chaussée de Charleroi (1894) but a flood of commissions led to a need for greater space, and, in 1901, the architect moved to rue Américaine 25 in Saint-Gilles, where he built a home and studio. He spent World War I in the United States, where he taught courses at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (1917-1918). The project that consumed the greater part of his later career was construction of the Palais des Beaux-Arts. In 1932, King Albert I conferred on him the title of baron. Horta died on 8 September 1947. The city of Brussels subsequently gave the name Baron Horta to the former rue de la Bibliothèque. Horta left a quarter of his estate to fund the Baron Horta prize in architecture, awarded every five years beginning in 1967. In 1968, his home in Saint-Gilles opened as a museum (Musée Victor Horta). Since 1979, the Institut supérieur d'Architecture has been known as the Institut supérieur d'Architecture Victor Horta.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.