The Centre for Fine Arts, a palace of the arts. Immense and yet almost invisible, overlooking the city and yet buried underground, multiple and yet unified, prestigious and yet open to all...this was how Victor Horta imagined the first cultural centre of its kind to be constructed in Europe, the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts. His ambitious project was designed to meet several challenges. A town planning one, first of all: linking the upper to the lower town. An architectural one: creating a building that would meet the needs of different disciplines while still preserving its own architectural cogency. An artistic challenge: to host all forms of art, at the highest level and in the best possible conditions. A cultural challenge, finally: to make art accessible to as many people as possible, free of elitism but without lowering standards. The Centre for Fine Arts first opened its doors in 1928. Here, Horta traded the sinuous lines of art nouveau for the geometric design language of art deco, but the incidence of light in the exhibition rooms and the ingenious arrangement of the different spaces betray the hand of the master. In his memoirs, Horta referred to the Centre as a high point in his career.