Art Nouveau: 10 Most Beautiful Buildings in the World

Art Nouveau was an international style in architecture and design that emerged in the late 19th century. With so many options to choose from, it is hard to narrow down a list of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the world. So here’s a small portion of what can be found.

Defining Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was characterized by asymmetry, whiplash lines and flowing, organic forms, often inspired by plant forms. The style flourished mostly between 1890-1910 in Europe and the United States. Furthermore, it branched from the Arts and Crafts movement which began only a short time before.

Morris & Co wallpaper sample book Brooklyn Museum

While this article focuses on the architectural aspect, Art Nouveau also crossed over into posters, illustrations, jewelry, and interior design. Well-known architects of the period were Otto Wagner, Victor Horta, Antoni Gaudi, and Jules Lavirotte to name a few.

Art Nouveau Architecture from Around the World

Since examples of Art Nouveau are scattered throughout the world, it is known by different names according to the region: Liberty style, Tiffany style, Secession, Skonvirke, Modernismo, or Jugendstil. Furthermore, the style ranges in intricacy as well, from the ornate to the simple.

Majolikahaus: Vienna, Austria

Known as the Secession style in Austria, Otto Wagner’s Majolikahaus is a prime example of Art Nouveau elements. The exterior is made of small tiles, a style known as majolica. Here the tiles come together to form a floral pattern.

Art Nouveau buildings Otto Wagner Majolikahaus Arch Daily

Alberta Street: Riga, Latvia

This street in Riga, Latvia contains some beautiful examples of Art Nouveau design elements. An entire series of articles could be written on the architecture of this city alone.

Museum of Applied Arts: Budapest, Hungary

Designed by Ödön Lechner and built between 1893-1896, the building combined both regional styles of Art Nouveau with Oriental elements.

Art Nouveau buildings Ödön Lechner, Museum of Applied Arts, 1893-96, Budapest, Hungary

Cit Turin: Turin, Italy

Among the great architecture of the Northern Italian city of Turin, there are many Art Nouveau buildings. Take, for instance, this particular building located in Cit Turin – a district filled with Art Nouveau buildings.

Art Nouveau buildings: Giovan Battista Benazzo, Casa Tasca on Via Beaumont, 3, Turin, Italy.

Jugendstilsenteret: Ålesund, Norway

The “Art Nouveau town” of Ålesund was the epicenter for Art Nouveau architecture in Scandinavia. A terrible fire ravaged the city in 1904, but the city was soon rebuilt with a blend of Scandinavian regional styles in mind. The Jugendstilsenteret is the city’s Art Nouveau museum.

Hagbarth Martin Schytte-Berg, Jugendstilsenteret Museum, 1905–1907, Alesund, Norway.
If you are interested in learning more about this town, click here.

The Fine Arts Palace: Mexico City, Mexico

The Fine Arts Palace is considered to be THE cultural center of Mexico City and showcases both aspects of Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Art Nouveau buildings Fine Arts Palace Mexico City Art Nouveau Adamo Boari, Palacio de Bellas Artes, ca. 1904-1910, Mexico, Mexico

Villa Majorelle: Nancy, France

This French home was built for the furniture maker Louis Majorelle. Click here to take a virtual tour of the historic monument. The villa has been open to the public since the late 1970s.

Art Nouveau buildings Henri Sauvage, Villa Majorelle, ca. 1901-02, Nancy, France.

The Little Singer Building: New York City, New York

Ernest Flagg mostly designed buildings in the Beaux-Arts style. However, here in this 12-story wrought-iron building, there are clear examples of the Art Nouveau movement which paralleled the timeline of Beaux-Arts architecture.

Art Nouveau buildings : The Little Singer Building New York City Ernest Flagg

Eliseyev Emporium: St. Petersburg, Russia

Completed in 1903, this building is now home to retail spaces and a theater. The architect, Gavril Baranovsky, was commissioned by the wealthy merchant Grigoriy Grigorievich Eliseyev to build another building for the family’s already large portfolio. It was temporarily renamed during the Bolshevik Revolution but has always been known as the Eliseyev Emporium by those in St. Petersburg.

Art Nouveau buildings: Eliseyev Emporium St Petersburg Russia Gavril Baranovsky

Hotel Chile: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Due to a fire and subsequent repairs in the late 1980s, the building does not have much of its original ornaments. However, the structure still stands on Avenida de Mayo in the Argentinian capital.

Art Nouveau buildings: Hotel Chile, Buenas Aires Argentina Art Noueveau, Louis Dubois

More Info:

There is no possible way to include every Art Nouveau building in one article. In Riga, Latvia alone, there are over 800 examples of this style. So here are a few more examples, just for fun, from an artists’ colony in Darmstadt, Germany, to various buildings in Brussels.

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