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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 5:52 AM
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Is Art Deco dead? What's the latest/last Art Deco project?

Is Art Deco completely dead at this point...? What's the latest structure that had at least some art deco influence?
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 6:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
Is Art Deco completely dead at this point...? What's the latest structure that had at least some art deco influence?
Art Deco's era was from the 1920s to about the 1940s....so I would say Art Deco has basically been "dead" for roughly 65 years...I hope that helps answer that question.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 2:01 PM
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perhaps the most authentic deco echo building we have in chicago is NBC Tower designed by Adrian Smith of SOM and completed in 1989.



source: http://www.mcnees.org/travelsite/tri...chitecture.htm
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 5:32 PM
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So have we completely forgotten about the rules here that require us to credit the original photographers in these threads??? Going to start deleting posts if they're not edited. . .

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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 6:37 PM
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Did you make this thread a few months ago? I remember in that one someone posted some auditorium or something being built in Las Vegas.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 6:54 PM
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 7:07 PM
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Thank you for posting those, it really made my day. Wow, I had no idea the NBC Tower in Chicago was built in 1989, I thought it was a regular art deco skyscraper from the 30s - they did a terrific job.

On one hand it makes me sad that we no longer build beautiful ornamented art deco skyscrapers anymore, they're awesome in so many ways, but on the other hand every style has its time and if not built "naturally" a newer art deco building might seem like an imitation and not live up to the original style, and end up being an embarrassment - not if done right though obviously, with the NBC Tower being the best example of that. But I really do like how art deco elements are still incorporated into more modern designs.

The art deco apple store really looks cool, I hate Apple, but I gotta give them credit for building this

Also, what is the third building from the top from WilliamTheArtist's post? It looks pretty amazing, a lot like the Rockefeller Center. Is it really new? Could you please include the name and location for it, as well as the other ones you posted?
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 8:29 PM
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Quote:
The art deco apple store really looks cool, I hate Apple, but I gotta give them credit for building this
Well, you don't have to give them that much credit. It's the Apple store on Lincoln Road in South Beach, Miami Beach. Apple gets credit for restoring the building facade in 2006 to the original look when the building was designed in 1929. Over the years it it was covered over by many renovations. In its last incarnation it had an oolite/coral facade. I think it fits beautifully on Lincoln Road and Miami Beach with all the other streamline era designs.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 8:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
Also, what is the third building from the top from WilliamTheArtist's post?
Wells Fargo Centre, Minneapolis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_F...Minneapolis%29
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 9:14 PM
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 1:10 AM
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The problem with Art Deco is that the windows are often overly small. The Empire state building is rather dark and dismal inside.

Nowadays you can use more opaque materials to get in more light or plan the buildings light distribution better by looking at materials in a computer simulation.

In Vegas, we have a special school for children with mental disabilities. They actually use a special light focuser on the roof that then sends the light through fiber optics and into the lighting of each room. It was shown to have a marked improvement in the behavior and nature of the children because the human mind can't tell natural sunlight from re-focused sunlight, but gets uncomfortable in un-natural lighting. I saw this on a show on GreenPlanet...I forgot the name, it's about fixing cities of the future or something and they present four technologies per show.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 3:34 AM
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To answer your question, there was no last Art Deco Design, it faded gradually into Modernism. See the progression in the below buildings:


Diagrams from SSP, assembled by me

When you look at the progression, you can easily see how Deco, like many styles, didn't have a beginning or an end, but rather faded from one distinct style into the next distinct style...

(on a random side note, that diagram also highlights the parallels between the Chrysler-ESB combo and the JHC-Sears combo. Both were really tall buildings emblematic of their style, the shorter ones in both cases are usually thought to be the superior buildings, while the taller buildings obscure their fame and take the spotlight)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamTheArtist View Post
There were and are several branches of Art Deco from Prairie Style to Streamline Deco.
LOL wat? Sorry but Prairie style was in no way a branch of Art Deco. Prairie style has completely different origins than Deco and its only real connection to Deco was that its ideas were about equally as influential to the rise of modernism as the ideas of Deco. If anything the two styles converged in modernism. Prairie Style arose almost entirely from the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects influenced by the Louis Sullivan centered Chicago School. Prairie Style began before 1900 and was pretty much done with outside of Chicago by 1925. Thus it came almost entirely before Art Deco was popular in any way. How could it be a branch of Deco?

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One could even make the case that much of what we see with the most contemporary of architecture (and chic, high end furnishings and decor) today is a rebirth or continuation of many of the core themes of Art Deco. Sexy, sinuous, clean lines, metallic silvers, minimalist/industrial/machine age elements, etc.
Now this I can agree with you on. Art Deco was really the first design school to reject nature and ornament as integral to human design. It was the beginning of the "machine aesthetic" that is so important to Modernism. Yes Chicago School architecture was the first move towards simplicity and minimalism, but the Chicago School architects, Louis Sullivan in particular, were hardcore into details and most of their buildings had extremely ornate patterns worked into the designs.

Last edited by Nowhereman1280; Oct 20, 2009 at 4:09 AM.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 5:44 AM
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I think Hugh Ferriss is an example of an architect who went from art deco to modernist.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 7:19 AM
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It's definitely not dead, but far too few new Art Deco skyscrapers are build these days, which is a pity seeing as it is by far my favorite architectural style.

HEARST TOWER, CHARLOTTE, USA


Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...arst_tower.jpg


Source: http://www.brinkleydesign.com/files/...ttowermain.jpg


PARKVIEW SQUARE, SINGAPORE


My own photo


My own photo
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 10:03 AM
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^^^

Man that building in Singapore is gorgeous, I had no idea it existed, thx so much for posting it. I think it qualifies as one of the newest major pure classic art deco projects, having been completed in 2002. The Hearst Tower in Charlotte as well as some of the other newer buildings posted above combine art deco with modern designs and rather successfully, but that Parkview Square building - classic art deco, and it incorporates the best characteristics of the style as well. I'm jealous, can we buy it from Singapore and put it in Chicago or New York ?

Thanks everyone for posting all these - all good evidence that art deco isn't dead. All the newly built classical art deco buildings remind me of the City Beautiful Movement of 100 years ago when a lot of neoclassical buildings and monuments and grand civic projects were constructed in cities, mainly DC, NYC and Chicago. Wouldn't it be awesome if we had something like that today. The reason art deco is inspiring is not just because of the beauty of the style itself, but also because its reminiscent of a time when scientific and industrial progress, celebration of the advances thereof, such as major transportation developments, all of this stuff was part of civic culture and people were on a mission of doing great things even though the economy was in the crapper. Today I feel like we don't really care as much anymore, like someone mentioned above, most modern glass and steel architecture is a direct result of developers not wanting to spend extra money on ornamentation and things like civic pride and its reflection on urban community projects can't compare to what they were during the art deco era and before.

And the whole point of the City Beautiful Movement was exactly that - to create and maintain a sense of civic virtue. So, if we had a program like this today, reviving art deco architecture could play a significant part in it because of the style's cultural significance.

Anyways, I have no idea why I just typed all of this... I guess classic art deco buildings make me nostalgic (not that I remember the art deco era ). We have actually seen something of a resurgence in civic projects - look at Millennium Park - and buildings as well - all the recent art deco developments you posted + obviously a ton of new modern skyscrapers. We're most definitely doing much better than 2-3 decades ago. Still, I wish we cared about our cities more. Darn you suburbs!

Long post... sorry. And now that I read it back it doesn't really make much sense Oh well, sometimes I enter typing mode and things like that tend to happen
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Last edited by Yankee; Oct 20, 2009 at 11:00 AM.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 2:19 PM
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The Loews in South Beach was built in 1998 to fit in with the old Art Deco buildings around it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdflip/281105591/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mav16/3557073263/
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 8:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post


LOL wat? Sorry but Prairie style was in no way a branch of Art Deco. Prairie style has completely different origins than Deco and its only real connection to Deco was that its ideas were about equally as influential to the rise of modernism as the ideas of Deco. If anything the two styles converged in modernism. Prairie Style arose almost entirely from the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects influenced by the Louis Sullivan centered Chicago School. Prairie Style began before 1900 and was pretty much done with outside of Chicago by 1925. Thus it came almost entirely before Art Deco was popular in any way. How could it be a branch of Deco?



Now this I can agree with you on. Art Deco was really the first design school to reject nature and ornament as integral to human design. It was the beginning of the "machine aesthetic" that is so important to Modernism. Yes Chicago School architecture was the first move towards simplicity and minimalism, but the Chicago School architects, Louis Sullivan in particular, were hardcore into details and most of their buildings had extremely ornate patterns worked into the designs.

My bad on the Prairie Style thing... I had in mind what they often call Tulsas Fairgrounds Pavilion as being, they say its "Prairie Deco". The Prairie Deco motifs (versus saying Prairie Style) can be found on many buildings in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, etc. The designs often have: wheat grain, corn, buffalo, indians, livestock, native wild flowers, etc. throughout. There is also a "Pueblo Deco". Essentially each region had its own influence on decoration, versus copying from Europe.

However, I would say there is a lot of cross over between "Prairie Style" and some Art Deco styles. Both borrowed heavily from the highly stylized and geometric Native American designs. Zigzag Deco?



I have been thinking about this for some time now, trying to get a grasp of just what Art Deco really is. What defines it. I know it when I see it for the most part, though even here a building or work of art could be a mixture of styles. Perhaps only having "Deco cues" here an there which would then allow someone to call the building Art Deco, though many of its other motifs would scream Neo Classical or even Egyptian, etc.

Art Moderne, Art Deco, Streamline, Zigzag, Classic Moderne, Streamline Moderne, PWA Style,,, and there are probably a few other descriptors out there.

Art Deco is applied to buildings and objects that are so very different. Chevrons and zigzags are said to be a fundamental part of the deco style, but I have seen plenty of buildings that dont have a lick of either. Some have designs that are almost all linear, zigzags and chevrons. The ornate ceilings of the Guardian Building is one example, and there is a similar style in a building in Tulsa...repeating "indian blanket" patterns.

by me


here is an exterior shot by (PaulBrady flickr)


Yet then there are buildings that have flowing curves or are covered in swirling leaves and flower patterns. Some are made of traditional materials like brick and have only a few simple "deco cues" in stone or cement along the cornice or a simple pattern in the brickwork. Others are covered in steel, tile and glass.

I can see several, general, Deco Types and imagine categories for them.

STREAMLINE is probably the most obvious of the types, though even here its hard to draw a definite line as to what exactly defines the style and when the style stopped. When shopping for Art Deco Items in antique stores you see all kinds of radios, ashtrays, appliances, etc. for exampe that have a sleek, curvy, "streamline" look from the 50s... but would those things really be Art Deco?

ZIGZAG, is pretty easy to spot especially if you define it more narrowly than most might. Lots of "zigzag patterns" they can be curvy zig zags or very linear(often ,made up of tiles and brickwork). Again, you usually know it when you see it lol.

REGIONAL and or THEMED deco could be another group or category. Egyptian, Roman, Gothic, Italian, Prairie, Pueblo, Mayan,,,,, I can find examples of buildings that take an earlier style, say Egyptian or Roman, then "Art Deco" the design motifs. Roman columns and capitals become stylized to appear Art Deco for instance. I have seen Art Deco churches that take the Gothic Motifs and then change the angles and curves a bit to make the rose windows ,sculptures, etc, look Deco. You can take any element from any style and make it look "Deco".

Then there is another type that I cant quite find a word for... FLORAL/NATUREFORM? The designs are overflowing with natural elements; leaves, flowers, curly swirls, perhaps they have animals like long tail feathered birds, gazels, waves, fan shaps, etc.


INDUSTRIAL or PWA style. Has a strong industrial influence, bold heavy lines, strong figures, gears, machine elements, etc.

Each of these categories of course have examples in which several have been mixed together (a Miami Streamline with panels of Floraform,, Industrial with elements of Zigzag) or that are transitional between a couple of categories. But I also think that you can see definite, distinct examples of each which "set the tone" for that category and would not at all have much resemblance to the others.

Not saying that I am right, but as I have begun to study Art Deco more and more, I have noticed that a lot of buildings and artwork do seem to fall into fairly distinct branches or categories.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 9:16 PM
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...
Another view of this amazing Pure Sang Art-Deco of Singapore. Glad to see...Here
Looks like it was inspired by classic deco radio cabinets...

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Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee
I guess classic art deco buildings make me nostalgic
I think that is the big difference between the art deco of the 20s and 30s and the art deco revival of recent decades.

Art deco was a celebration of everything novel and fashionable - it got its inspiration from cubism, modernism, the excitement of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in the '20s, ocean liners, anything it could find - that's why it is so hard to pin down. It didn't sign up to any underlying philosophy about construction or function, it just thrived on the excitement of what was new or fashionable or technically possible.

Things that are new and fashionable now are different - digital technology rather than ocean liners, environmentalism rather than Egyptology. So people who want to be at the cutting edge look for different inspirations - computer-aided design, buildings covered with complex lighting displays, or pre-industrial, 'green' solutions. In architecture, art deco has become more codified, nostalgic and predictable - though, as William the Artist has said, that's not necessarily the case with art deco influences in other types of design.
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