Monday, August 23, 2010

Empire Court, Durban

Empire Court, DurbanEmpire Court in one of many Art Deco style buildings in the Grey Street district of Durban. It is a substantial building with shops at street level and apartments on the two upper floors.

Grey Street is the Indian part of town and that is reflected in many of the buildings from the 1930s and 40s that bear the family names of the local businesses. Another common theme for building names in this area is the British Empire as is the case here. Of course both South Africa and India were part of the British Empire.

Empire Court dates from around 1937 and the facade has a rich mixture of Art Deco elements. Diamonds, horizontal stepped lines and many other patterns comprising of geometric shapes. Also of note are the decorative flagpole holders and it is a shame that the flagpoles themsleves are no longer present.

Empire Court, DurbanThe building addresses its corner site with a curved verandah and balcony but the roofline maintains the rectangular lines of the rest of the building. This reminds me of the corner section of Wikianos Supermarket in Asmara, although in that case the roofline extends over the lower floors provding shade for the balcony area where Empire Court appears to have an open terrace above its curved balcony.

Durban Deco Directory

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