Brussels opens Art Nouveau masterpiece Hotel van Eetvelde to the public

Brussels opens Art Nouveau masterpiece Hotel van Eetvelde to the public
Credit: Luc et Laurent Viatour

Brussels is taking a new important step in its "Year of Art Nouveau" as the beautiful Hotel van Eetvelde with its eye-catching glass dome will be opened to the general public now that it has been renovated to its original design.

Hotel van Eetvelde is a real showpiece of Art Nouveau designed by famous Belgian architect Victor Horta. Like three other Horta buildings (the Horta House, Hotel Tassel and Hotel Solvay), it has been on the Unesco World Heritage List since 2000.

​“I can only be happy that the Hotel van Eetvelde – a jewel of Art Nouveau designed by Victor Horta – will be opened to the public just in the Brussels Art Nouveau theme year. This beautiful building complements Brussels' already rich and varied cultural and heritage offer," said Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort.

In the context of the Year of Art Nouveau 2023, the Capital Region continues to open up heritage and make this architectural style known to the general public: Art Nouveau is a major tourist asset and can be used to give Brussels an international image.

Undisputed Art Nouveau capital

"By opening up Hotel van Eetvelde in addition to the Horta House, Hotel Solvay, the Cauchie House and soon Hotel Hannon, we have added a new showpiece in the strategy of giving Brussels even more international appeal through Art Nouveau," said Brussels State Secretary for Heritage Pascal Smet.

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Region and Beliris, and the good cooperation with the owners of the main building, visitors from all over the world will have the opportunity to admire this Brussels heritage. "Brussels is the undisputed capital of Art Nouveau. Visitors can now discover even more of our extraordinary heritage. It will be a priceless promotion for our region and residents should be proud of it."

Not only is the facade of the building characterised by an Art Nouveau style, but the highlight of the visit is undoubtedly the now-renovated monumental glass dome of the winter garden.

The renovation works also included the restoration of the reception lounge, the complete cleaning and restoration of the stained glass windows, the repair of damaged structural parts, the internal ventilation of the main floor and an optimisation of the mechanisms used to maintain the glass dome. Other works, such as the restoration of the dining room, are part of the subsidy file and have yet to be completed.

“Brussels breathes Art Nouveau," said Brussels Minister Sven Gatz, who is responsible for the Image of Brussels. "Today, more than 250 Art Nouveau buildings are partially or completely protected in our region. A unique and unparalleled heritage, many of which are open to the public. Today, in this special Art Nouveau year, we are adding the Hotel van Eetvelde, a pearl of which we have had the magnificent glass roof restored."

Credit: Luc et Laurent Viatour

Edmond van Eetvelde – who was a Belgian diplomat and advisor of Belgian King Leopold II, and later became the first General Administrator of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Independent State of the Congo – commissioned Horta to build the house, as he wanted a place where he could both meet possible customers but also live with his family.

In the interior, Horta used materials from Congo and a number of motifs that referred to the colony. In the hall, visitors are welcomed by mosaics with vines running through them. Like plant stems, elegant colonettes support the veined dome whose stained-glass windows depict stylised leaves and flower stems that colour the incoming daylight.

The dining room, adorned with graceful shrubs, retained its waffled wall coverings in ochre, green and brown depicting plants, elephants and stars.

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Due to its strategic location, Hotel van Eetvelde is ideally suited as an information point about the Year of Art Nouveau. The right-hand section of the building will house an Art Nouveau centre (called LAB·AN) to host conferences and workshops, as well as also an exhibition where visitors can discover the main characteristics of this movement and its links with colonisation.

As both the Region and the owner of the building (Synergrid) made it clear they want to do justice to the building's heritage, it will be opened to the public and to host events such as seminars, workshops and exhibitions throughout the year.

As of today (Monday 15 May), the public can discover the building every Saturday, Sunday and Monday through free visits or guided tours. Tickets can be purchased online (via or on site.

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