Sydney Architecture Images- Search by style
Inter-War Art Deco c. 1915—C. 1940
|001 City Mutual Life Building||003 AWA Building||012 Ashington House|
|022 Bryant House||023 Grand United Building||033 Kyle House|
|035 Railway House||036 David Jones||044 389 George Street|
|04 Museum of Contemporary Art||03 Anzac War Memorial||4 Martin
003 Challis House
44 Martin Place
007 Henry Davis York Building (Old MLC Building)
53 Martin Place
009 Australian Provincial Assurance
|08 State Theatre|
|010 Former Grace Building||13
149 Macquarie Street
|27 Burley Griffin Incinerator|
|36 Metro Cinema, Kings Cross||02 Rural Bank Martin Place||10 Prudential Building|
|ART DECO PUBS|
|005 Sutherland Hotel||006 County Clare Inn||007 Hotel Broadway|
|009 Hotel Hollywood||023 Marlborough Hotel||38 The Rose, Shamrock and Thistle|
|37 The Albury||39 The Burdekin||40 The Piccadilly|
|41 The Unicorn|
|Originating in Europe, the modern movement was
the most potent architectural development during the inter-war decades, and
it was effectively publicised by avant-garde critics and historians of the
period (see INTER-WAR FUNCTIONALIST). But the works of Le Corbusier,
Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and other mainstream modernists were too severe
and radical to win widespread popular acceptance. Ordinary people who liked
cocktails, the Charleston, streamlined cars and chromium- plated electric
toasters responded much more easily and happily to Art Deco. This visually
stimulating and intellectually undemanding style first came into prominence
at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris
in 1925. Art Deco motifs came to be especially favoured for both the
exteriors and interiors of distinctively twentieth-century building types
such as the cinema and the skyscraper.
Art Deco celebrated the exciting, dynamic aspects of the machine age and, unlike the more cerebral, abstract International style, it unashamedly made a direct assault on the emotions by the use of vivid decorative elements which served no particular function. Straight lines—often three in parallel—were used horizontally, vertically and diagonally in conjunction with geometric curves. Low-relief sculpture was popular: it was heavily stylised and tended to be rather naïvely symbolic of speed, power, industry or progress.
Inter-War Art Deco in Australia frequently appeared in commercial and residential interiors and in shopfronts. In the 1930S the cinema and the milk bar each drew heavily on the style and did much to make it popular. Eye-catching materials and finishes were preferred, such as chromium- plated steel, plywood faced with exotic veneers, and coloured opaque glass (Vitrolite and Carrara glass). Many multi-storey office buildings of the period have survived, their façades often achieving a soaring quality by the use of strongly modelled vertical piers or fins and featuring coloured terracotta cladding (sometimes with the colour graduated over the height of the façade) above a base of polished granite.
Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW. C. Bruce Dellit, architect, 1934. A quintessential example of Art Deco, in form, detail and massing.
ACA Building, Queen Street, Melbourne, Vie. Hennessy & Hennessy, architects (attrib.), C. 1936. The vertical fins terminate in typical spirit, stepped forms.
"A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Austrlian Architecture; Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present"
RICHARD APPERLY, ROBERT IRVING, PETER REYNOLDS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SOLOMON MITCHELL.
Angus & Robertson Sydney 1995 ISBN 0207 18562 X
Copyright © 1989 by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.
|Australian War Memorial; building completed 1941; Byzantine_architecture style with strong styling elements of art_deco throughout|
|The Waterfall style and Art Deco combined, Heidelberg, Victoria|
The largely French-inspired styles of the era between World Wars I and II,
when cubistic structures were embellished by the use of florid ornament
inspired by the Paris Exposition of 1925 (Art Deco) and later by sleek
streamlined ornament that also influenced the Paris Exposition of 1937 ' Art
Moderne . Many polvchromed works of Ely Jacques Kahn exemplify Art Deco: the
corner-windowed “modernistic” apartment houses of the Grand Concourse in the
and the Majestic Apartments, at Central Park West and 72nd street
are Art Moderne.
Both Deco and Moderne use setbacks to reduce building mass and to emphasize verticality. Unlike "Wedding Cake" buildings, their shapes recede from the street gracefully, not in tiers but in gentler and more carefully positioned steps. Limestone is the most common cladding material, with brick facades common in Art Deco.
Prominent architects in the style include Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, and Lawrence Murray Dixon.
In 1925 something else very important happens that would affect the look of skyscrapers—the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. With this exposition the French government intended to showcase the latest in French modern design, though it was an international exposition, as other countries were invited to open up pavilions exhibiting their modern design. The United States was one of the countries invited to have a pavilion, but the government's response was that the nation had no modern design, so there was no United States pavilion. Ultimately, however, this exposition, des arts décoratifs, from which the term art deco comes, had a tremendous influence on American design. Many Americans attended—architects, builders, even the general public. They either traveled to the fair itself or read books about it. So the exposition eventually had a tremendous impact on the look of the city.
Now before we look at art-deco buildings, we should note that this style is not synonymous with the setback office building. Very often, buildings like the Barclay-Vesey and the Fred French are called art-deco buildings, though technically they are not. They use different types of ornament. Art deco is a style of ornament imported from France after the 1925 exposition that provided an ornamental overlay on office buildings that were built under the 1916 zoning law. So it is important to note that the style is not synonymous with the zoning law but with a type of ornament that was used after 1925 on buildings in New York. The buildings that Americans saw when they attended the Paris exposition were very small scale, like this one, which was built as the Pavilion Bon Marché for the Bon Marché department store in Paris. But they had a highly ornate decorative quality—using, for example, stylized sunbursts, frozen fountains, and zigzag ornaments—and it was this style of ornament, used on both the pavilions and the modern decorative arts shown at the fair, that the Americans brought back with them.
The period termed "art deco" manifested
itself roughly between the two world wars, or 1920 to
Art Deco buildings in Sydney