At the turn of the 20th century eclecticism gave way to new styles in art and architecture. The first of those is Modern, taking its name from the Parisian gallery "La Maison Moderne"(The Modern House). The combination of esthetic beauty and functionality in buildings is the characteristics of the Modern architecture. Not only the exterior was important, but the interior design, which was carefully developed. Stairways, doors, pillars and balconies- were artfully designed. The motto “art, as a way of life” became the core philosophy of the style.
Modern was striving to combine the artistic and utilitarian functions in the works created, to get every part of human life involved with beauty. In other countries the style is also known as: “tiffany” (by the name of L.K. Tiffany) in the USA, “art nouveau” and “fin de siècle” (literally “end of the century”) in France, “jugendstill” (based on the 1896 established illustrated journal “Die Jugend”) in Germany, “Secession” in Austria and “modern style” in the UK.
National Romanticism became a peculiar national-driven reaction to the new style in Riga architecture at the beginning of the 20th century. It associated with the concept of Jugendstil, defying the old and the inconvenient, accepting only the new and the practical. As early as 1905 has seen the first demonstration of the new style, constructed by the projects of E. Laube. Usage of natural materials for façade decoration (natural stone, rough stucco, etc.), wooden elements, and ethnical ornamentation is characteristic to the buildings of this style.
The new style accentuated vertical lines: bay windows, crosstorey ornamental pattern, vertically elongated towers. Latvian romanticism in the city architecture can be seen as an indicator of the birth of financial opulence. Developing on the national ethnical grounds, the style served the commercial interests of the property owners and entrepreneurs bestowing their economic stability.