Is My House 'Art Deco'

From ChimniWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A beautiful example of ArtDeco 'lead lights' from a 1930s Moderne House.

You may think that this is just a simple question of whether the nice leaded-glass on your front foor front door counts as 'Art Deco', but this is actually one of the thorniest issues in modern architecture! There are lots of references to 'Art Deco Architecture' in books and on the web, but there are many people (including those of us here at Chimni) that don't believe that Art Deco is an architectural style - at least not in the UK.


'ArtDeco' was a decorative style sometimes applied to the facades and interiors buildings, but not affecting core structure or design. For the most part these buildings were built in an architectural style called Moderne or if you are being particularly grand 'International Moderne'.

However, many people have begun to use ‘Art Deco’ as a shorthand to describe them. As Professor of Design History Deborah Sugg Ryan said "I don’t use the term Art Deco, which I find deeply problematic. It was invented in 1968 by Bevis Hillier. I dislike the way it’s become a catch all term to describe anything that is modern but doesn’t fit the Modern Movement"

Even the perfect Art Deco TV programme - Poirot - needs to be qualified. Series producer Brian Eastman said in a recent interview 'the set was 30s modern, not actually Art Deco, because Agatha Christie had explained in a profile of Poirot that Art Deco was too flamboyant for him'. The houses that commonly get called ArtDeco tend to be 'Moderne' Houses (which were typically flat roofed) or Restrained Moderne style (which have hipped roofs). So your house is most probably built in Moderne style with some Art Deco flourishes! Its still beautiful.

In America the Moderne style was also sometimes called Streamline Moderne - because the buildings looked like ocean liners and fast trains. Famous British building icons like the Hoover Building or the De La Ware Pavilion would fit into the Moderne category - as do lots of houses.

See Also In Chimni[edit]

Chimni Wiki Page: 'Moderne' Houses

ChimniWiki Homes Used In Poirot Episodes

Chimni Wiki Page: 'Moderne' Blocks Of Flats

ChimniWiki Is My House 'Georgian Anglo-Palladian Classical'?

Other Interesting Web Sites[edit]

A Schedule of 'Art Deco' Houses in London

RIBA Library 'Art Deco Triumphant'

The Art Deco Society

A Pinterest Board of 1930s House Delights

Books We Liked[edit]


<references />