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It’s from another world. Art Nouveau. It’s the name of an artistic movement that started in Europe around 1890 and lasted until around 1910. It took on so many different characteristics in so many different places. And with some of the most famous designers of the era, like Antoni Guadi, in Barcelona, Joseff Hoffman in Vienna and Carlo Bugatti in Italy, they all had one belief: An interest in finding a new art vocabulary that could best express the modern world. These are some of the elements that are beautifully captured at The Playford.

So what was Art Nouveau? It was a world of artists, architects and designers seeking simpler, more organic designs that drew their references from the natural world. They incorporated graceful, organic themes into their work, and a new aesthetic was born; Art Nouveau. Infiltrating all levels of art and design, the movement’s proponents sought to bring the same care and vision to the so-called “low arts” of furniture, textile, glass, ceramic and metal design as they had to painting and architecture.

Playford Lounge Bar

Nature was a big inspiration for Art Nouveau. Not the pretty side of nature. More its vital organic force. Whiplash curves resembling vines overtaking things, and iron support cast in the form of a stem or a root bursting at the top. Another theme of Art Nouveau was local history which looked to a familiar pre-industrial past for inspiration. Glass was an important Art Nouveau medium. It conveyed the important theme of metamorphous, with surfaces treated as three dimensional layers, and varying from opaque to translucent.

Art Nouveau and the related Arts and Crafts movement had become important influences on architectural design. Cities throughout the world began to see the distinctive lines and shapes of the Art Nouveau aesthetic appear in buildings. In cities like Paris, Prague, Brussels, Barcelona and Glasgow, where the movement had taken over art schools and imaginations, the Art Nouveau influence was very pronounced.

It was Paris, which gave the Art Nouveau movement its name and boasts some of the most enduring examples of Art Nouveau architecture. The curving balconies, floral and vine-etched facades and deep, striking colour schemes we associate with Paris’ 16th arrondissement are the work of Art Nouveau designers. One in particular, Hector Guimard, was especially prominent in the movement. He was responsible for Castel Béranger, the Hôtel Mezzara and the gorgeous Metro stations that are Parisian treasures.

This beautiful style of art is what makes The Playford so special. The aesthetic ‘whiplash’ lines and beautiful metalwork, incorporating saturated colours and detail inspired by nature. It’s all there at The Playford. You’ll see it the moment you pass through the doors and enter the foyer. And when you‘re relaxing with a quiet drink at The Playford Lounge Bar, or enjoying a magnificent dinner at The Playford’s highly awarded restaurant.

This is Art Nouveau at its very finest. Come and experience it for yourself at The Playford. You won’t find a better example.

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