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Art Nouveau and Art Déco

Air & Space museum Paris Le Bourget Art Nouveau styleGreater Paris has a rich architectural heritage but what about the Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture in the region? Discover the Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings in the Paris region.

Art Nouveau & Art Deco movements

We often associate Art Nouveau and Art Deco and yet they are very different, even in opposition! Indeed, the Art Deco movement appeared in reaction to the Art Nouveau style.

The Art Nouveau style is distinguished by ornamental forms inspired by nature and particularly flowers and other plants. It was called in France "style nouille" by its detractors because of the predominance of curves and arabesques. This artistic movement, which concerns architecture and furniture, was invented during the Belle Époque. It comes from the English Arts & Crafts movement which aimed at return to the craft and to mix beautiful with functional. The Arts & Crafts movement have succeeded in amalgamating the borders between major and minor arts. The major representatives in France of Art Nouveau are Emile Gallé, René Lalique, Hector Guimard... The latter designed the emblematic Art Nouveau Parisian subway entrances.

The Art Deco style is more sober and favors geometric forms. It appeared in reaction to the "soft" forms that he represents in the Art Nouveau. Less turned towards nature and organic forms, it was created for a return to a more rigorous and framed style. The use of geometric forms has an ornamental and not a structural role. It was created in Belgium in the 1910s, reached its peak in the 1920s and began to decline in the 1930s, dying out completely at the beginning of World War II.

Art Nouveau and Deco buildings in Seine-Saint-Denis

There are few Art Nouveau buildings north of Paris center. We can see an example in Aubervilliers: the 1900 building 14 boulevard Anatole France.

You can see some Art Deco buildings in Le Bourget, Les Lilas, Le Pré Saint-Gervais and Aubervilliers towns.

The Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival

Lovers of architecture and decorative arts should not miss the BANAD, Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival. This exceptional event promotes the Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage in the Brussels-Capital Region. It takes place every year in March during the weekends; in 2022, it takes place from March 12th to 27th.

At the heart of this festival are guided tours of Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings, architectural gems usually closed to the public. Complementary activities are offered: guided city walks, concerts, conferences, family activities, a fair with period objects as well as programs adapted to the PRM and school audiences.

Brussels is very close to Paris with the Thalys train line from Paris gare du nord station. In only about 1h30 by train, you can go to Brussels and enjoy a day or a weekend of BANAD Festival visits. The BANAD 2022 tour packages are on sale (hurry, some are already full).

This unique concept in Europe is organized by Explore.Brussels and its members, associations of guided tours: ARAU, Arkadia, Bruxelles Bavard and Pro Velo.

Hôtel Riez Herenhuis Bruxelles ©EB - Photographe Sophie Voituron
Hotel Riez Herenhuis Bruxelles ©EB - Photograph Sophie Voituron

Related: find Art Deco objects and furniture at the Paris St-Ouen flea market.

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