Thursday
September 18, 2014

Art Deco

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Art Deco

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The 1925 Paris Exhibition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs launched the Art Deco style, which echoed the Machine Age with geometric decorative elements and a vertically oriented design. This distinctly urban style was never widely used in residential buildings; it was more widespread in public and commercial buildings of the period.

Towers and other projections above the roofline enhance the vertical emphasis of this style, which was popularized by Hollywood movies of the 1930s. Flat roofs, metal window casements, and smooth stucco walls with rectangular cut-outs mark the exteriors of Art Deco homes. Facades are typically flush with zigzags and other stylized floral, geometric, and "sunrise" motifs. By 1940 the Art Deco style had evolved into "Art Moderne," which features curved corners, rectangular glass-block windows, and a boat-like appearance. Popularized in the United States by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, the style enjoyed a revival in the 1980s.

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