Thursday, October 20, 2016

what is gesamtkunstwerk?

victor horta's tassel hotel in brussels, 1894. this is one of the first examples of Art Nouveau. horta is obviously evoking the vital force of nature. the whiplash curves resembling vines literally overtake the house, and iron support columns are cast in the form of a stem or root that is bursting alive at the top. horta designed literally every element of the interior, including the window frames and stained glass, the metal radiator covers and the floral light fixtures, floor tiles and stair rails.


architect charles rennie mackintosh & his wife margaret mcconald on designing several interiors in their entirety, including their own home (1906). each room presented a different, unified color scheme, with furniture, light fixtures and wall paintings conceived by the couple.



frank lloyd wright's Robie House (1910) is just one example of the american architect's mastery of gesamtkunstwerk. wright took the concept even further than some of his peers by joining different interior elements into single pieces. in the Robie House's dining room the light fixtures are actually a part of the dining table. wright placed the sconces within the ceiling strapwork. 


in 1956, SAS commissioned arne jacobsen to build their royal hotel in Copenhagen. jacobsen not only designed the architecture of the building, but also the interiors, from the furniture to the flatware and the door hardware. it is for thisproject that he created his famous Egg and Swan sofas and chairs.

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