Buildings designed in the Art Nouveau style feature sculptural ornamentation—typically depicting nature or human faces—and building materials like wrought iron and stained glass. The first Art Nouveau structures were built in Brussels in the 1890s, and the style has since become common all over the world. There are especially dense concentrations of the style in Paris, Glasgow, Vienna, Riga, Prague, and Budapest. Art Nouveau also inspired a number of similar styles such as Secession Style, Modernismo, Jugendstil, and Glasgow Style. \nArt Nouveau architecture may have only been popular from 1890 to 1914, but the style made a sizable contribution to architectural history. \n\n- __Mid-nineteenth century__: Though Art Nouveau technically originated in France, the Arts and Crafts movement in England inspired Art Nouveau artists and architects. In mid-nineteenth-century Britain, textile designer William Morris and architect Phillip Webb pioneered new ornamental styles inspired by nature that could be used in fine art, architecture, and the decorative arts.\n- __Late-nineteenth century__: The term “art nouveau” was first used in 1880 in the Belgian publication *L’Arte Moderne* to describe the progressive work of an artist’s collective called Les Vingt. In 1895, French-German art dealer Siegfried Bing opened the Paris gallery *Maison de l'Art Nouveau*, or “House of New Art,'' which was the first gallery devoted to Art Nouveau and popularized the movement in France. In the early 1890s, Belgian architects Paul Hankar, Victor Horta, and Henry van de Velde built some of the first Art Nouveau buildings in Brussels, Belgium.\n- __Twentieth century__: Through the first decade of the twentieth century, this style spread throughout Europe—from Vienna, Austria, where painter Gustav Klimt broke traditions with his gilded paintings, to Spain where [Antoni Gaudí](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/antoni-gaudi-life-and-architecture) built lavish, undulating buildings epitomizing Art Nouveau architecture. After World War I, the geometric, classically-influenced Art Deco replaced Art Nouveau as the primary decorative arts influence of the time.\nA few common characteristics help define Art Nouveau architecture.\n\n1. __Natural shapes__: Art Nouveau architecture is full of biomorphic shapes—or non-geometric, organic forms—that resemble flowers, insects, and other elements of the natural world.\n2. __Ornamental lines__: Art Nouveau architecture frequently incorporates curvy, sinuous lines—as seen in the intricate ironwork of the Paris Metro signs and entrances—that mimic the swirling forms of plants or stems. \n3. __Structure and ornament intertwined__: Art Nouveau architecture incorporates ornamentation into the integral parts of a structure so that there is no separation between what is simply decor and what is structural.\nThe Art Nouveau style of architecture spread far and wide, inspiring many architects to design and build bold, elaborate structures around the world. \n\n1. __Casa Batlló, Antoni Gaudí (1883)__: Antoni Gaudi, a master of Catalan Modernism, brought the Art Nouveau style to Barcelona, Spain, designing many of the city's most notable landmarks. With this residence, Casa Batlló, Gaudi designed the building as an allusion to St. George and the Dragon by adorning the facade with mosaic tiles and a spine-shaped roofline.\n2. __Secession Building, Joseph Maria Olbrich (1898)__: The Secessionists were a group of rebel architects who broke with the Art Nouveau movement to create their own version of the style. The Secession Building is a monument to the Secession Style, featuring a symmetrical, cubic building crowned with a dome of ornate wrought iron gilded leaves. \n3. __The Old England Building, Paul Saintenoy (1899)__: This former department store is now home to the Museum of Musical Instruments in downtown Brussels. Its bare iron-and-glass curtain wall is six stories tall, complete with canted windows and wrought iron finials. \n4. __Hotel Tassel, Victor Horta (1893)__: A row of swirling stained glass windows on the building's facade serve as a preview of the intricate interior design lying behind its doors. From the curved staircase, mosaic tile floors, iron railings, and decorative wallpaper, Hotel Tassel is an Art Nouveau icon. \n5. __Museum of Applied Arts, Ödön Lechner (1896)__: The Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest, Hungary, was designed by the innovative Hungarian architect, Ödön Lechner. Breaking from tradition, Lechner designed the building with a bold and eclectic use of the Art Nouveau style. The steep pitches and domes on its rooftop are covered in bright green and yellow glazed tiles. A central stained glass skylight floods the interior space with natural light. \n6. __Majolikahaus, Otto Wagner (1898)__: Austrian architect Otto Wagner designed this apartment building at the turn of the twentieth century. Its facade is adorned with colorful floral motifs and wrought iron balustrades (baluster-supported railings). \n7. __Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue, Hector Guimard (1913)__: Best known for designing the wrought iron Metro signs and entrances in Paris, Guimard also designed this synagogue in the Art Nouveau style by incorporating elongated windows and a curved facade. \n8. __Glasgow School of Art, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1909__): Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed this art school building in Glasgow, Scotland, with a mix of traditional Scottish architecture and the Art Nouveau style. Though severely damaged in a fire in 2018, the Glasgow School of Art remains one of the city's most treasured architectural landmarks. \n9. __Villa Majorelle, Henri Sauvage (1902)__: Located in the small town of Nancy, France, this residence designed in the Art Nouveau style was built for the prominent Art Nouveau furniture maker, Louis Majorelle. \n10. __Little Singer Building, Ernest Flagg (1902)__: American architect Ernest Flagg studied the Beaux-Arts style in Paris. He would bring the Art Nouveau style to New York City at the turn of the twentieth century with the Little Singer Building. A network of intricate iron balconies and trellises frame the building's large windows.\nGet the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com/) for exclusive access to video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Frank Gehry, Will Wright, Annie Leibovitz, Kelly Wearstler, Ron Finley, and more.\nArt Nouveau was the predominant architectural style in Europe and North America from the 1890s to 1914.