Consistency of inner and outer spaces in European Art Nouveau architecture

In the framework of the project Art Nouveau & Ecology supported by the programme Culture 2007-2013 of the European Commission, the Réseau Art Nouveau Network, as a network of cities aiming to preserve, study and promote Art Nouveau at a European scale, organises a one-day symposium on 5 September 2014 on Consistency of inner and outer spaces in European Art Nouveau architecture in Rīga (Latvia).This historical lab will deal with the innovative and creative methods used by the architects of the Art Nouveau movement to highlight the relation between the inside and outside parts of the buildings, where the facades act as an interface, functioning as a visual, structural and functional connection. This new approach is reflected in the fenestration of facades, the shaping of buildings, and arrangements of spaces between them, as well as the new approaches in creating built-up urban areas. This inventiveness, combined with the will to offer better sanitary conditions in housing, results in the opening of the interiors to the gardens. Many projects of garden city type – a popular concept in Europe in the early 20th century, were achieved. The first garden cities Letchworth near London (1903) and Hellerau in Dresden (1906) provided a living space closely integrated into the surrounding greenery. From 1901, the garden city (or Villenkolonie) Mežaparks in Riga offered the possibility to live amidst nature – the buildings were directly built in a pine tree forest. In city centres, courtyards of apartment buildings became larger to improve insulation of inner spaces and started to be used as large inner gardens often visually connected to the street through wide openings. Around the same time, winter gardens also allowed this precious visual interaction with the outside, first on the street side, and then at the back of the houses, on the garden sides. Thus inner and outer spaces became inseparable units. The proposals may evoke these various aspects and take in account resulting architectural innovations, especially in the conception of building plans.
The deadline for the call for papers is set on 10 March 2014 and the papers should be sent to the coordination office of the Network by email at
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