In a city such as A Coruña known for its stunning modernist architecture, the Plaza de Lugo stands out as a particularly fine example endowed with one of the most impressive buildings of its kind in the world. Built in 1912 by local architect Antonio López Hernández, Plaza de Lugo 13 represents Spanish Modernism at its very best.
This was an architectural and stylistic school born out of the Art Nouveau movement, however, and in addition to France it blossomed from the interaction between British Arts and Crafts, German Jugendstil and the Vienna School to inspire unique interpretations in countries such as Spain, Italy, Russia and the USA.
Working together with the Cuban architect Ricardo Boán y Callejas, López drew particular inspiration from stylistic tendencies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland to create his own ‘A Coruña’ brand of Modernism of which this remarkable edifice on the city’s Plaza de Lugo is such a celebrated example.
Richly adorned, it features stylised columns full of heraldic detail in a style that incorporated traditional Galician and Castilian architectural traditions and romanticised earlier genres, as was the general tendency at this time. This romanticism, also witnessed in a neo-Gothic and neoclassical architectural and literary revival, reaches its highpoint in a building where the stonework is solid yet as delicate as lace.
Wooden window frames and intricately carved balconies add a further note of distinction capped by neoclassical caryatids. Such classical references notwithstanding, the building reveals early traces of what was to become the Art Deco style – creating in the process a building that makes A Coruña’s Plaza de Lugo a mecca for lovers of inspiring architecture.