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Paul Hankar (11 December 1859 - 17 January 1901) was a Belgian architect and designer who, along with Victor Horta and Henry Van de Velde, is considered one of the principal architects to work in the Art Nouveau style in Brussels at the turn of the twentieth century.
Hankar was born at Frameries. He began his career as a sculptor. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, where he met a fellow student named Victor Horta, with whom he became fast friends. Like Horta, Hankar studied closely the techniques of forged iron which he would later use in many of his projects.
In 1888, Hankar began his activity as an architect and furniture designer in Brussels and collaborated with the interior designer Adolphe Crespin. One well-known poster by Crespin from about 1893 advertises Hankar's practice on the rue Defacqz in Brussels. He then was commissioned to design the Palacio de Chávarri in Bilbao, Spain, which was constructed for the businessman Víctor Chávarri in 1889.
Five years later, in 1893, he built his own house, which along with Victor Horta's Hôtel Tassel (constructed at the same time) is considered one of the first two houses in the world built in the Art Nouveau style.
In 1896, Hankar presented a project for a « Cité des Artistes » ("Artists' City") for the seaside town of Westende, in which he conceived of an artists' cooperative with housing and studios. Though the project never was realized, five years later it would inspire the artists of the Darmstadt Artists' Colony in Darmstadt, Germany, and the artists of the Vienna Secession.
For the 1897 World's Fair in Brussels, Hankar, along with Henry Van de Velde, Gustave Serrurier-Bovy (an Art Nouveau architect and designer from Liège), and Georges Hobé, was charged with the design for the Congo section, which became known for its full employment of the Art Nouveau. In the same year, Hankar participated in the colonial exposition at Tervuren, Belgium, for which he was responsible for the coordination of the works of several artisans and furniture designers. He died in Brussels.
The greater part of Hankar's buildings are found in Brussels. Besides those mentioned above, they include:
- Maison Zegers-Regnard (1895)
- Maison and Pharmacy Peeters (1896)
- Hôtel Renkin (1897, destroyed)
- Hôtel Kleyer (1898)
- Maison Bartholomé and its Studio (1898, destroyed)
- Niguet Haberdashery (1899)
Media related to Paul Hankar at Wikimedia Commons