Art nouveau is definitely a characteristic of Riga and it impresses everyone who loves the history of art and architecture as well as those who simply enjoy seeing beautiful buildings. One of my own favorite sub-styles of Art nouveau is Latvian National romanticism. The buildings of national romanticism are not as decorative as Art Nouveau buildings, like you can find on Alberta street, but they have a Nordic depth and thoroughness that can be seen in both the buildings robust shape and rough texture.
My favorite example is the Atis Ķēniņš school building (now – Riga 40th High School) on 15/17 Tērbatas street built in 1905 by architect Eižens Laube (together with K.Pēkšēns). It is one of the symbols of early 20th century architecture in Riga, named by a poet, lawyer and educator Atis Ķēniņš.
The building has an unusual cave-like central entrance, expressive facade and characteristic shape of the window frames. What is interesting – the travertine facade decoration is made from rock fragments collected at the famous cliff Staburags that was later sunk during the building of Pļaviņu hydroelectric power station and has now been under water for decades.
Renovated only some years ago, the building perfectly fits the general urban landscape of the city. As I often walk by this building it always reminds of the fundamentality and solidity that the early 20th century architecture in Latvia expressed.