Architecture in the Art Deco era encompasses more than just building design. It represents a bygone period of glitz, wealth, and refinement. A sense of romance and mystery is evoked by the sweeping curves, minute details, and striking color choices, bringing the viewer into a lavish and opulent realm. These structures are pieces of art in addition to being functional.
More than merely a sentimental relic, the Art Deco style has lasting value. It is a celebration of human imagination and a representation of the capacity of a designer to push the bounds of what is conceivable and produce something genuinely stunning. These structures are a monument to the ability of architecture to arouse emotion and spark awe, and they capture the essence of the time in which they were built.
Emerging in Paris during the 1920s, Art Deco developed into a major style after the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), where it first found the name “Art Décoratifs.” During the 1930s, Art Deco was becoming a trendy architectural style. There are various reasons for its popularity. Its flamboyance charmed the elite, while others regarded it as a sign of hope and upward progress, which was prevalent in a broad range of industries such as graphic arts, furniture design, and architecture.
It was distinguished by its sharp lines, geometric forms, and use of luxurious materials like glass, gold, and silver. Art deco, also known as “style moderne”, designers paid close attention to an object’s aesthetics, particularly its form and character, and buildings were therefore embellished with countless surface decorations and abstract patterns. Details on the building were designed to reflect the speed and power of the automobile industry, as well as the new and modern technologies of the time.
The Art Deco style is manifested in a variety of ways, including architectural form, components, and decorative aspects. The majority of the Deco architecture in the city is found in apartment buildings, although it is also present in theatres, institutions, hotels, and commercial buildings. Many of these buildings are still standing today, tucked away among the brand-new high-rises that are taking over the city skyline.
Bands, chevrons, stripes, zigzags, square and oblong shapes transform these simple structures into ornate constructions. These bands and patterns, generally painted in contrasting colours, transform buildings into works of art.
Art Deco is renowned for its use of strong, vivid hues such as metallic gold, silver, and bronze, in addition to black and primary colors.
Mirrors and glass surfaces were widely used in Art Deco architecture to reflect light and add glamour.
Elongated forms, curving lines, and bands known as “speed lines” reflect the Deco era’s fascination with speed on symmetrical building facades. Aerodynamic advances in locomotive design, particularly those made in vehicles, were the driving force behind them.
Art Deco is famous for its use of illustrative elements, which were frequently included in the overall design. Examples include stylized flowers, animals, humans, cultural context, fonts or traditional scripts, and numerous bas reliefs.
Traditional materials like wood and stone were frequently blended with contemporary materials like plastic, concrete, and stainless steel in some countries while RCC played a major role in the construction in other parts of the world.
Architect: William Van Alen
Built in: 1930
The Chrysler Building is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved examples of Art Deco architecture in the world, despite its age. It symbolizes the importance of New York City as a major industrial and commercial center, which continues to inspire and draw visitors from all over the world. The structure is one of the most sought-after locations in the city and is now being used as office space.
It’s crucial to note that a wave of brand-new skyscrapers—tall buildings that stand for advancement, inventiveness, and modernity—rose in New York City during the economic boom of the 1920s, despite setbacks in art deco design. The building is art deco not just on the surface, but also on the inside, with lavishly adorned stone interiors with art deco motifs. The upper floors are not open to the public, but the lobby offers a good impression of the building’s quality, with onyx, red Moroccan marble walls, and burned Sienna coloured carpeting.
Architect: Shorabji Bhedwar
Built in: 1938
Mumbai’s iconic Eros Cinema has made a significant contribution to the cultural heritage of the city. Eros Cinema is a symbol of the inventiveness and innovation of the Art Deco era and is renowned for its graceful design. The Eros Cinema is one of the most exquisite and well-preserved Art Deco theatres in the world, and is still a well-known landmark in Mumbai despite the passage of time as It draws both residents and visitors.
Eros Cinema’s interior is just as spectacular as its exterior. The theatre has a grand entrance with a grand staircase and a polished marble floor. The auditorium’s intricate mouldings, frescoes, and crystal chandeliers give the space a refined and beautiful appearance. Additionally, the theatre has a big screen, cosy seats, and cutting-edge sound and projection equipment to provide viewers with a really immersive and pleasurable film experience.
The era of modernity that was quintessentially popular, with the help of technology, celebrated contemporary materials and quality workmanship that symbolises prosperity and finesse. Previously, ornamental features in the design were restrained by the constraints imposed by the building materials used to construct the structure and the dominant architectural style. Material and scale played an important role in defining the characteristic of the buildings.
While New York is packed with Art Deco buildings in the form of skyscrapers and luxurious, gleaming buildings, Mumbai’s RCC made buildings are in complete contrast. Most of the Deco buildings in Mumbai are four stories to maintain the uniformity of the urban fabric. The production and use of RCC made it easier to showcase nautical features and elements as a symbol of the port city. Oval Maidan, Mumbai is home to numerous Art Deco buildings along the coastal edge.
With the emergence of new technology, architects were freed from the limitations of the past, allowing them to experiment with a wide range of shapes, materials, and forms and a broad range of industries such as graphic arts, furniture design, and architecture. Despite its critics, Art Deco architecture is a lasting emblem of a period when the world was full of passion, glamour, and enthusiasm. In a world that often feels bland and homogenized, the Art Deco architecture style serves as a reminder of the beauty and excitement of the past.