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Architectural History I
Terms in this set (25)
How did Art Nouveau arise?
In late 19th century Europe, Russia and North America, there was a widespread feeling among young architects and designers that the cycle of stylistic revival was unsatisfactory and backward looking. This led to the rejection of revivalism and historicism, to conscious attempts to look 'modern' and, more specifically, to 'Art Nouveau'. The name Art Nouveau was taken from a shop in Paris.
What is Art Nouveau?
The term Art Nouveau refers to a decorative style derived from an abstraction of nature, characterised by the so-called 'whiplash' curving, sinuous line. The term also embraces a very different, much more abstract and rectilinear style favouring multiple squares/ grids.
How was Art Nouveau known in Germany and Italy?
It was known as Jugenstil in Germany, and Stil Liberty in Italy, after a fashionable London Arts and Crafts shop called Liberty.
Who was Charles Rennie MacKintosh and why is he considered to be associated with Art Nouveau?
The Scottish architect MacKintosh was inspired by Scottish vernacular architecture and the Arts and Crafts Movement. His buildings incorporate Art Nouveau decorative details based on abstractions of nature, as well as the more abstract and rectilinear detailing mentioned above, with multiple squares and grids. MacKintosh collaborated with Herbert McNair and their respective wives, sisters Margaret and Frances MacDonald. MacKintosh and his circle were influential in Europe, especially in Germany and Vienna.
What are some features of MacKintosh's Glasgow School of Art?
There is a sense of mass and heaviness in these buildings, and the interest in creating big spaces. MacKintosh removed large corridors and tried to create more open plan spaces. It has a kind of simplicity, a stripping back of ornament. Iron on front of the window was there to help for window cleaning, but also had a slight floral motif, drawing off nature. It has increasingly square windows without ornamented window heads. No white stone contrasts with the masonry. It is constructed with granite and has a clean surface. It has an axis plan along the windows, ensuring light into the studio spaces. It appears like an old Scottish baronial castle, but designed to look new.
What is a significant feature of the library in the Glasgow School of Art complex?
The size of the glazing is large, and the glazing bars become a grid on the whole building.
What are some features of MacKintosh's design for the unbuilt House for an Art Lover?
There was a reduction in hallway space. A series of posts divided the spaces. The main living space is double height, with a mezzanine circulating to the bedrooms. The interior design included stylised motifs such as flowers and was much less ornamented than the houses of the Victorians. MacKintosh aimed for the total work of art and designed everything in his buildings, the lights, chairs etc.
What is a significant feature of MacKintosh's Hill House, Helensburgh?
It is a masonry building with a rendered roughcast surface- pebbles in the plaster. This had a long history in Scottish architecture, and the building appears like the house of a baron on the outside.
Who was Baron Victor Horta?
Horta was the real instigator of Art Nouveau in architecture. He was inspired by the writings of Viollet-le-Duc and the ideas of Willam Morris. He saw nature as a 'generative principle' in developing a new form of ornament. He was very influential in other countries, especially France.
What are hôtels?
Hôtels are in fact urban houses. The word means private town house. These houses tend to use decorative iron for balustrades, but it's really on the interior where we see the curved whiplash line exploited for decorative purposes.
What is a significant feature of Horta's Hôtel Solvay?
Horta was really interested in getting top lighting into the circulation space.
What is a significant feature of Horta's Hôtel Horta, his own house and studio?
This is connected to the next-door building at the top. It has a very decorated and swirling interior with patterned marble and window glazing.
What is a significant feature of Horta's Hôtel van Eetvelde?
There are increasing amounts of glass and an increasing use of irregular geometry for window heads. Top lighting was important. Use is made of the 45° for circulation.
Who was Hector Guimard?
Guimard drew on English Arts and Crafts and Belgian Art Nouveau. Like Horta, he was inspired by the writings of Viollet-le-Duc. He aimed to create a French national style.
What is a significant feature of the Castel Béranger?
It has a distinctly asymmetrical gate.
What is a significant feature of the Maison Coillot (shop and house)?
This is made of ceramic tiles. This was consistent with the movement of Art Nouveau.
What is Guimard probably best-known for?
The design for the Entrances to Métro stations. These use a lot of pieces of glass and iron.
What significant feature does Hector Guimard's own house have?
The whole building has a sort of languidness and droop with the way the plaster is moulded on the exterior. Art Nouveau is not just about the building, but the total work of art.
What type of architecture was Gaudi interested in?
Gaudi was particularly interested in the Islamic architecture of Spain, the architecture of the Moorish people, and looked at the way it was intricately detailed and patterned, some pieces cut out, and some of them using tile work.
What are some features of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Church?
Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Church has a loose association with the gothic with its verticality, but is distinctly decorated. Sloping piers support the main roof in entrance. They have an angle, which creates the sinuous curve of art nouveau. Holes are broken up into the patterns to make it more true to nature.
What are some features of Gaudi's Parc Gûell?
It has a central platform that is raised up by a series of columns. It has a curing edge with a very decorative wall, with seating running alongside its perimeter. Underneath it there are broken ceramic tiles continuing its decorative detail. Gaudi was interested in masonry as opposed to iron.
What are some features of Gaudi's Casa Battlò?
Its floor plan includes curved walls and its roof and exterior are tiled and very colourful. Its ceilings and columns on the interior all capture the droopy, sculptural effect.
What are some features of Gaudi's Casa Mila?
The exterior is built in stone- a traditional material that is used in a radical, advanced way to create the curving, sculptural feel. It has two big courtyards in the middle. Its floor plan uses curving walls produced with multiple pieces of straight wall. It completely rejects the right angle. There are 4 apartments on each level. These are all secure from each other. The ironworks on the balustrades appear kind of like tossed, messy seaweed, once more drawing inspiration from nature. He included sculptural lift towers (levels on top of the roof).
What is Gaudi described as, and what was he inspired by?
Gaudi is described as an architect of Catalan Nationalism. He was inspired by Viollet-le-Duc's ideas about regional forms and John Ruskin's ideas about nature. His artistic aim was to create an organic unity of space, form and structure, i.e. an architecture expressive of the forms and principles of nature.
Why was Art Nouveau a relatively short lasting movement?
Art Nouveau was a relatively short movement because of its obsession with ornament and detail, whereas the potential of iron could be used more technologically. The rejection of ornament after the flurry of activity and fashion of Art Nouveau becomes fundamental to modern architecture.
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