- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Aug 2017
The aim of Art Nouveau was to escape the eclectic historical styles that had come to dominate the late-19th century and so modernise design. Inspiration was drawn from both organic and geometric forms, merging flowing, natural designs with more angular and rigid contours.
The Latvian capital of Riga is the most celebrated Jugendstil city in the world, with a large concentration of buildings designed in the style – roughly one-third of all the buildings in the city centre. The reason the style is so prevalent is that at the height of the Art Nouveau period, Riga was experiencing a financial boom. At the same time, restrictions were lifted on the construction of masonry buildings outside the Old City fortified walls. Accordingly, most of Riga’s Jugendstil buildings date from between 1904 and 1914.
One of the most prolific and revered Jugendstil architects was Mikhail Eisenstein, who is particularly well known for his highly-ornamental three-storey apartment buildings on Alberta iela. One example features a massive woman’s face, a screaming woman, a satyr, and large busts of Lady Liberty.
On other buildings, entrances are guarded by sphinx, and windows are shaped like large keyholes. At the corner or Elizabetes and Antonijas streets, one of the city’s most famous buildings features a blue façade with long faces at the top (see below).
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
An introductory article to external works - all activities carried out to the external environment of a building project.
With the clock ticking, RIBA say that a 'no deal Brexit' will be "disastrous" for the architecture profession.
The focus is generally on the lime binder, but the aggregate is actually the most significant element.
The importance of communication, collaboration and simplicity when planning construction projects.
New working group is set up to consider options for raising standards across the property agent sector.
BSRIA provide a top 10 list of recent legislation and guidance affecting buildings.
Record third-time winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize - our profile of one of the world's most celebrated architects.
Foster + Partner's London Bloomberg HQ building wins the 2018 Stirling Prize.
A release schedule is prepared if not all required information has been prepared or issued when the contract is executed.
UKCW report shows industry changing on fire safety ahead of government regulation.