Architecture, Furniture Design, Colors, and the occasional kitten

Antonin Gaudi vs. Frank Lloyd Wright/Art Nouveau vs. Modernism

Two important movements in art, architecture, and interior design began at the turn of the century: art nouveau and modernism.  Both architectural styles were in response to the availability of new construction materials such as concrete and steel.  They also were a philosophical response against Victorian styles and called for newness in design and a blend with nature.

Art Nouveau created organic fluid lines with direct reference to nature.  Antonin Gaudi’s Casa Batllo (1877-1906) and Casa Mila(1905-1910) are two classic examples of this style, although some claim that Gaudi belongs in a genre of his own.  Gaudi’s Casa Mila is inspired by the beaches ofBarcelonaand his exterior evokes ripples in the sand from receding waves.  Gaudi used concrete and steel to create these buildings with organic facades and structures.

At the same time, in the continentalUnited States, Frank Lloyd Wright was developing his own style of architecture which would be come to be known as the Prairie style of homes (1893-1914). Wright was also responding to nature and to the idea that a building should blend with the natural environment.  His style of home became the model of modern American home plans.  The homes were flat, had open floor plans and were multi-leveled with many linear forms to complement the flat landscape of the American heartland.  Wright’s most famous home, Falling Water (1935), fuses architecture with surrounding nature.  Wright’sUnityTempleis considered one of the first “modern” buildings because of its shape and use of concrete.

What I like about these two architectural styles and architects is their continuity into interior design and furniture design.  Gaudi’s interiors are curvilinear and so is the furniture; Frank Lloyd Wright used angular lines in his furniture that are inspired by Japanese aesthetics and complement his buildings.  Below are some examples of their interiors and furniture.

Gaudi’s interiors and furniture:

Wright’s interiors and furniture:


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This entry was posted on May 9, 2012 by .


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