- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 19 Oct 2020
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
A look at the Government's strategic approach.
Steps to help reduce the spread of infection inside buildings.
This social media-centred hobby can be both dangerous and illegal.
Millwork wall treatment with a long and illustrious history.
HSE introduces cumulative exposure calculator.
The Edwardians and their houses.
Cut off from civilian life for over 900 years.
Gaining green support from the carbon giants.
Medieval passageways with spiritual, transport and economic purposes.
Organisation receives accreditation from Investors in People.
Click the button to subscribe.
Communicating the right information at the right time.
Materials can take on different properties to control heat and glare.
Challenges in the construction sector and beyond.