(b. 1867, Lyon, d. 1942, New York City)


French architect, furniture designer, and writer. He studied decorative arts and architecture in Paris, where he later established his own practice. The influence of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc is evident in his early works, which culminated in the Castel Béranger block of flats, Paris, where his first use of the Art Nouveau style appeared in its decorative elements.

In 1895, after visiting the first Art Nouveau building, Victor Horta's Hotel Tassel in Brussels, Guimard proceeded to a complete re-evaluation of his artistic approach; furniture and interior decoration of a house had to become parts of a total work of art. After seeing Horta's work, Guimard made changes to the original neo-Gothic decorative elements of the Castel Béranger, introducing a colourful mixture of facing materials and organically derived embellishments, based on his belief that decoration is the more effective for being non-representational. Between 1899 and 1914, Guimard's style matured to a full-blooded Art Nouveau, although he also continued his picturesque manner in suburban villas,

He entered the competition to design Paris Métro stations in 1896, failing to win but getting the job because the railway company's president was attracted to the Art Nouveau style. He designed and created the station entrances of Paris subway "Le Métropolitain" from 1898 to 1905; they were an expression of Art Nouveau, discovered during the 1900 World Exposition in Paris.

The stations, which were modular and conceived for mass production, were in production until 1913. Together with the Humbert de Romans auditorium (1897-1901; destroyed 1905), an enormous concert hall and chapel with elaborate decorations and fittings, they represented the most complete architectural expression of Art Nouveau in France.

The architectural and decorative works of Hector Guimard are characterized by fluid, unusual lines, vibrant curves inspired by nature, essential shapes underlined by light and contrast of the different materials used, such as wood, iron and stone. They are the most representative of the organic and floral Art Nouveau Style in France, and his style would later be known as the "Guimard Style".