very important figure and through his designs and theories iron became associated with the
reform of the decorative arts and his influence can probably be most clearly seen in some of
the architecture of the Art Nouveau movement.
The main principles Viollet bestowed on the
Art Nouveau movement were the spatial organization of the building according to function
rather than rules of symmetry and proportion, the importance of materials as a generator for
form and also the concept of an organic form.12
These ideals of form following function are
not only important to the Art Nouveau movement but also to the Modern Movement as well,
demonstrated in the work of Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and others.
Art Nouveau was eventually disregarded due to its ideals not being entirely realistic. As with
the Arts and Crafts movement the paradox of ‘hand made crafts for all’ was not attainable as
without the use of mass production the items became expensive and could only be afforded
by the wealthy.
It was also believed that Art Nouveau was not entirely functional. Such
decadence and decoration began to grate on the senses, creating the feeling that furniture
and ornamentation were intruding on the room.
Curved walls meant buildings became
unusable for furniture and balcony railings which stabbed you are just two examples of the
impracticalities of the style. The style began to develop and a key figure in the link between
Art Nouveau and the Modern Movement is Adolf Loos.
Despite belonging to the same
generation as the main figures of the Art Noveau and Jugendstil movements, Loos reacted
strongly against their attempt to replace Beaux-Arts eclect...
... middle of paper ...
... range of buildings, for less money in
a quicker time. Technology and new materials helped architects to build with ever-increasing
speed but the results were just as often dire as they were beneficial.14
There is no doubt that
figures such as Viollet-le-Duc and William Morris had a major impact on how the Modern
Movement developed but I would argue that their influence was mainly to start changing the
way people think, new technologies allowed the new ideas to be tested but it is all the factors
fused together that ultimately led to how the Modern Movement developed.
COLQUHOUN Opcit p15
COLQUHOUN, A, Modern Architecture, Oxford University Press, 2002
13 PEVSNER Opcit. P167
PEVSNER, N, The Sources of Modern Architecture and Design, London, Thames & Hudson,
14GLANCEY, J, C20th Architecture, Carlton Press, 1998, p6
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