Belgian architect. After studying in Ghent and Brussels, Horta joined the office of the architect Alphonse Balat. In 1890 he set up his own firm, and in 1893 designed what is widely regarded as the first architectural expression of mature Art Nouveau, Tassel house in Brussels. The innovative use of exposed ironwork and open-plan space characterised Horta’s style. A series of houses in Brussels consolidated his reputation, perhaps the most spectacular being a house for Baron van Eetvelde (1895 -7). Like many artists in Brussels, Horta had socialist leanings and between 1896 and 1899 he built the Maison du Peuple, a complex of shops, Offices and halls for the Belgian Worker’s Party. His Brussels department store A L’Innovation (1901) demonstrated the suitability of Art Nouveau for retail buildings. His work after 1903 was less adventurous and made use 0f classical forms.