In the Art Nouveau period architects were very keen on using colours to show their design skills on the facades of the buildings they created.
The invention of ceramic bodies that are resistant to all sorts of weather conditions made the use of this material to adorn the facades of houses possible from about 1895 onwards. The Hasselt factory excelled in this production area and can be considered as one of the Belgian top producers of this material in its time.
A recently discovered catalogue, printed in 1902, shows us a rich assortment of small and large glazed tiles next to a selection of building ornaments. Also glazed bricks were produced in very large numbers.
In researching the “Ravissant” exhibition of 2005, we encountered many houses throughout the country that are still adorned with tile panels or friezes of tiles from the Hasselt factory. It proves that this product was very popular at about 1900-1914.
As it was the case for the decorative objects, the production of decorative tiles was also reduced drastically after the First World War.
The invention of a modular system for building walls of sanitary installations in a quick way by the factories commercial manager A. Gatz, gave the company a second life. In many mine buildings, army barracks and factory halls, this system was used to cover the walls of all kinds of sanitary rooms.
Above, a nice example of a tile panel with a tulip design
This panel is still visible on the facade of a house in Hasselt. It shows a continuous “lily” design. The whole panel is lined with glazed bricks which were also produced in the Hasselt factory
A few examples of pressed decorative tiles
An example of pressed tiles showing a continuous “poppy” design.
A beautiful art-nouveau “tulip” design on this Hasselt tile.