Le 11/10/2021. Art Deco was a design period in the United States and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. It influenced...
Niveau B1 (intermédiaire)
Art Deco was a design period in the United States and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. It influenced fashion, art and architecture. But why is it special? It was original and it mixed beauty and practicality.
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Buildings classified as Art Deco architecture are sleek, but not minimal. When they were built, the structures were unique, modern, and unprecedented. Art Deco style began in Paris with an official appearance in 1925 at the ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes’. This design show in Paris eventually gave its name to the Art Deco style.
The Americans fell in love with Art Deco. The first Art Deco building in the US was built in 1924 – the American Radiator Building. Later, in the 1930s, American architects began building more buildings in this style such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler building in New York City. But skyscrapers were not the only examples of this style of architecture. The Civic Opera building in Chicago, The Union Terminal in Cincinnati and the Marlin Hotel at Miami Beach are all examples of lavish Art Deco architecture in the United States.
What makes Art Deco architecture different from other styles? Here are some elements to help you recognise it:
It is interesting that Art Deco started during a period of wealth and luxury but continued through the Great Depression from 1929 to the end of the 1930s. How? Designers found ingenious ways to use Art Deco in a budget-friendly way. The Great Depression is also the reason why no houses exist in the Art Deco style in the US. While people did not have the money to build Art Deco homes during the Great Depression, they used Art Deco elements to decorate their houses. We can see evidence of this in the light fixtures, the colour of paints and tiles, and in the arches above the front doors.
practicality = le côté pratique
sleek = aux lignes pures
eventually = finalement
a skyscraper = un gratte-ciel
lavish = extravagant
stucco = stuc
a spire = une flèche
wealth = la richesse
budget-friendly = à bas coûts
an evidence = une preuve
light fixtures = les luminaires
tiles = des carreaux, des tuiles