Historical Labs

Das vierte  europäische  Projekt  des Réseau Art Nouveau Network „Jugendstil & Ökologie“ plant eine Reihe von fünf Historical Labs, die Wissen auf europäischer Ebene vermitteln sollen. Die kostenlosen Studientage verbinden Forschung, Erfahrung und know-how  miteinander, um Experten und Jugendstil-Liebhaber anzusprechen.  

Historical Lab 4
Raw materials and Art Nouveau, Aveiro, 26 January 2013

Programme (in English, French and Portuguese)


Historical Lab 4 - Raw materials and Art Nouveau, Aveiro, 26 January 2013
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Humberto VARUM, Cristina FERREIRA OLIVEIRA & Aníbal COSTA, Aveiro

Adobe in Art Nouveau constructions in Aveiro
Nowadays, Aveiro is one of the Portuguese cities where magnificent examples of Art Nouveau movement can be found. Due to construction techniques traditionally used in the area and time period in which the Art Nouveau emerged, most buildings of this style and region were built using adobe blocks, a singularity worldwide. This type of construction has many advantages but also requires particular care to be taken into account in its proper maintenance and preservation. In this paper, the common structural problems and pathologies of this type of buildings will be presented and discussed with the example of the characterization works developed at Major Pessoa house in support to its conservation.

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Elzbieta PRZESMYCKA, Wroclaw

L'Art nouveau en Pologne: architecture, constructions, décors
XXth century architecture of Poland can be characterised an abundance of style, various construction solutions and a diverse range of materials and decorations. Traditional wooden contruction style developed in XIXth century in Zakopane, a city in the polish Tatras Mountain region. In many of Polish cities (Cracow, Wroclaw, Kazimierz) one can find numerous wooden and brick villas. In the cites of former Austro-Hungarian Annexation (e.x. Cracow) there are many preserved ArtNouveau tenement houses, built from bricks and decorated in interesting ornaments. There also are many other buildings with richly decorated elevations - plasters, mosaics and interior decorations (e.x. staircases with iron handrails). In Wroclaw one can find plenty of structures built in a typical german architectural style. In nearly all structures we notice wall coverings made from materials characteristic for that era, many of which are no longer being made (glazed slate, iron construction elements, fences, handrails and gratings). During conservation aften modern substitute materials are being used. There is not enough traditional craftsmen and small workshops producing materials necessary for the restoration of these structures. This article will focus on a choice of representative examples of Polish architecture of XXth century, together with their ornaments, building and decorative materials.

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Lucia MANNINI, Siena

Liberty Stained Glass in Italy: a panorama of styles iconography and techniques
The paper offers a panorama of the different modes of stained glass production in Italy during the Liberty period, focusing on stylistic observations in parallel with the technical development. It starts from the progressive abandoning of painting on glass and the adoption of the mosaic of colored glass tesserae. New techniques introduced in Italy are also presented, like the patent of the Luigi Fontana firm for the so called cloisonné glass or the ceramic process applied to glass called tubage developed by the Corvaya and Bazzi firm. The restoration of so many new and different kinds of windows are technical demanding and only possible when glass-makers have acquired a deep knowledge of the methods.


Maribel ROSSELLO, Catalunya

Papier mâché in Catalan Modernista Architecture
This paper presents one of the most unusual techniques identified in the study of Catalan Modernista architecture: the cladding of walls and ceilings with papier-mâché tiles produced by the firm Hermenegild Miralles. These tiles are similar in appearance to Valencian ceramic tiles, from which they took their designs and surface finishes. The company’s catalogue included a full range of finishes based on contemporary experiments with glazed and enamelled ceramics, such as golden hues, reliefs and incisions. The product catalogue claimed that the papier-mâché tiles were patented, so the technique was closely linked to the firm that marketed it. As far as we know, the tiles were on the market for a rather short time: the catalogue which we have discovered dates from 1894 and the latest examples of the tiles’ use are from 1905. We have found them in works by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Puig i Cadafalch, among others. Because of the importance of the works in which these tiles were used and the architects who designed them, we consider that this was not a one-off invention but rather one that, for a certain period of time, offered rich formal possibilities and simple installation. The new product met a demand for sensory expression and attractive cladding materials. It was inexpensive, lightweight and easily mouldable, so it allowed daring and highly expressive solutions that were affordable for more people.

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Pia SUBIAS, Barcelona

Ceramic materials and their use in the Modernismo period in Catalonia
The tradition of ceramics in architecture encompasses Gaudí, who incorporated them even into his early works, developing his own ways of using them. These ranged from following the ornamental formulas in Arabic art and traditional mottled models to creating ceramic relief moulds and on to the creation of a new architectural language, based on the use of rejected tiles, which were combined either to reconstruct the original design or build a new one. Gaudi’s thinking also informs the script that catalogues extensive use of ceramics in Modernisme in Catalonia when we examine the Esplugues manufacturer who provided us with ceramics books, research references and clues to the birth of contemporary ceramics.

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With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

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