Monday, February 28, 2011

A house in Devonport

House, DevonportI spotted this modernist house as we sailed into Devomport on the Spirit of Tasmania and had to drive around for a closer look.

The garden is a bit overgrown so it is difficult to get a good look at the house which appears to be a little bit rundown. A lick of paint and a bit of pruning of the trees and bushes and I think it could be absolutely magnificent.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Apartments, Miami

Apartments, Miami South Beach

A view of a street in Miami South Beach showing the variety in style (much) and colour (not much) of the Art Deco apartment buildings.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Republic Bar, Hobart

Republic Bar, HobartI guess the owners of the Republic Bar in Hobart have a sense of humour since they chose to that name for their pub. They are even flying the Eureka Flag, a symbol of rebellion, above the old Empire Hotel.

Still, despite how I feel about the possibility of a future Australian republic, I wish they had just left it as the Empire.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1085 Tunnel Road, Asheville

1085 Tunnel Road, AshevilleI saw this mixed-business building at 1085 Tunnel Road when we were on our way to the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville so I had to stop and take a couple of photos.

I liked the curved ends of the building but my favourite part is the tower element with glass bricks beside the entrance.

1085 Tunnel Road, Asheville

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hotel Edison, New York

Hotel EdisonThe Hotel Edison is my favourite place to stay in New York. It is always busy and wonderfully located just off Time Square. And the Cafe Edison, next door to the main hotel entrance, is a great place for a quick bite to eat whether you are a guest or not.

The Edison was built in 1931 and while the rooms no longer have deco features the lobby has been restored and looks fantastic.

Lobby, Hotel Edison

Lobby, Hotel Edison

Hotel Edison website

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Swallows of Port Melbourne

Swallows of Port Melbourne

For most of its life this Port Melbourne pub was known as the Southern Cross Hotel. From 1873 to around 1990 this was certainly the case. After that time it became Swallows Hotel or as their sign reads, Swallows of Port Melb.

Detail, Swallows of Port MelbourneAt some time in the 1930s this Victorian building got a makeover to become Port's most deco of pubs.

From a distance the corner parapret with its three speedlines and flagpole are the most noticable features but standing on the footpath in front of the hotel, these dark green panels are clearly the best Art Deco elements on the facade.

Swallows of Port Melbourne

Chartered Scoundrels - A Brief History of Port Melbourne Hotels, by Pat Grainger, Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, April 2007.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Malaysia Airlines Building, Perth

Malaysia Airlines Building, Perth

You may be surprised to learn that this building at 56 William St, Perth was built in 1930. I was. I would have put it a decade or two later.

Anyway. It was designed by architects Hobbs, Forbes & Smith for P&O so it is fitting that Malaysia Airlines are keeping it in the travel business.

Art Deco Discovery Walk Through Perth City Centre, Art Deco Society of Western Australia

Friday, February 18, 2011

former Rootes Motors, Port Melbourne

former Rootes Motors, Port MelbourneThis building on Fishermens Bend, the largely industrial part of Port Melbourne developed around the outbreak of WWII, is the former Australian factory for the British motor manufacturer Rootes. I remember it as a storage facility for KMart and now the western end of the building is home to Melbourne Indoor Paintball.

The building was built around the end of WWII and the national Archive of Australia holds two excellent photos of the building from 1945. Search for Image Number L1647 for a view of the building from ground level while L1849 is an aerial view showing the extent of the factory at that time.

You will have noticed the flagpole, an Art Deco steadfast, but if you look closely at the face of the other wall in the first photo you'll also find another Art Deco steadfast, a clock.

former Rootes Motors, Port Melbourne

Unfortuately everything is painted in a two-tone Mission Brown selection which does the building no favours at all. It looks like it may have been white or cream or perhaps even grey in 1945.

I was pleased to see the original gates, or at least one of them, still in place. Rusted in place actually, but it does show the Art Deco design and I can only image how good they looked 60 years ago.

former Rootes Motors, Port Melbourne

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A House in Marewa

House, MarewaWat back in 2008 I posted some photos of modernist houses in Marewa.

The beauty of Marewa is that it isn't one, two or three modernist houses scattered throughout the suburb, it is an entire suburb of modernist houses. Each one is different from the next. This one, for instance, is quite plain but has a lovely doorway.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Royal Institute of British Architects, London

RIBA, LondonThis building at 66 Portland Place, London is the home of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Designed by George Grey Wornum it was officially opened in November 1934 by King George V and Queen Mary. In 1970 it became the first modern building to recieve Grade II* listing.

The entrance has two huge bronze doors bearing a relief of the Thames river with some of London's buildings by James Woodford.

RIBA, London

The left door (above) includes the Houses of Parliament and Guildhall but I paticularily liked the way the three rounded steps combine with a ramped paths on either side leading to the entrance.

RIBA, London

Woodford also designed the two figures that stand on columns either side of the doorway who with a third figure high on the facade by Bainbridge Copnall represent the spirit of man and woman as creative forces of architecture.

RIBA, London

High on the side of the RIBA building there are five figures also by Copnall.

RIBA, London
A working man

RIBA, London
An engineer

RIBA, London
A painter

RIBA, London
A sculptor

RIBA, London
and an architect represented by Chirstopher Wren

Guide to 66 Portland Place

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Interior, Will Rogers High School, Tulsa

Library, Will Rogers HSA while ago I wrote about Will Rogers High School, one of Tulsa's best Art Deco buildings.

The school was built as part of the Public Works Administration (PWA) programme, opening in 1939. The architects were Joseph R Koberling jr, Leon B Senter and A M Atkinson.

At that time though, I didn't show any of the interior so I propose to correct that now.

The corridors of Will Rogers High School are lined with doorways set in brownish burgundy tiled frames leading to classrooms, the library and the auditorium.

The decoration and lighting in space between the outer and inner doors at the main entrances is typical of the style features elsewhere in the building.

Entrance, Will Rogers HS

Entrance, Will Rogers HS

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gas Station, Williams

Gas Station, Williams, AZThis nice little modernist gas station is on Route 66 in Williams, AZ.

The day I visited the old fashioned pumps were chained off so I wonder if they are just for show. There is probably some public safety ordinance that forbids their use. Still it is nice to see them.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Entrance Hall, Eltham Palace

Entrance Hall, Eltham PalaceThis is the Entrance Hall at Eltham Palace, the 1930s Art Deco home of Stephen and Virginia Courtauld built next to the remaind of a medieval palace.

The room was design by Swedish architect Rolf Engströmer and is bathed in light from a large concrete and glass dome. The walls are lined with blackbean veneer (from Australia) and feature figures of a Viking and a Roman soldier as well as some of the Courtauld's favourite buildings.

Entrance Hall, Eltham PalaceThe large circular carpet was commissioned from designer Marion Dorn. The original is now in the V&A Museum and the one in the house is a hand knotted replica.

Staircases lead to the bedrooms on the upper levels and doorways lead to the rooms on the ground floor including the extrodinary Dining Room.

Entrance Hall, Eltham PalaceAs an entrance hall, the room provides a stunning welcome to a stunning house. And it is large space, ideally suited as a sitting room which is how the Courtaulds used it.

I've seen this room pop up in various TV shows and movies. If you pay particular attention during the scenes in Delysia's penthouse apartment in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day you'll recognise where they got some of the inspiration for the set.

Entrance Hall, Eltham Palace

Entrance Hall, Eltham Palace

English Heritage - Information for Teachers

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dining Room, Eltham Palace

Dining Room, Eltham PalaceThis is the dining room at Eltham Palace, the boyhood home of Henry VIII. Naturally this part of the palace was not around in Henry VIII's time. It is part of the mansion that Stephen & Virginia Courtauld built in the 1930s next to the remains of Henry's palace.

The Courtauld's incorporated the Great Hall into their mansion so you get this mix of over the top deco leading on to medieval masonry. The palace and gardens are now Grade II* listed and under the management of English Heritage and open to the public so we can all enjoy it. And when you go, make sure you have a look at the room where the Courtauld's pet ring-tailed lemur, Mah-Jongg, slept.

Dining Room, Eltham PalaceThe decoration in the Dining Room has a Greek style to it as can clearly be seen on the fireplace, side table and the amazing doors featuring exotic (to England) animals including their beloved Mah-Jongg.

The dining table can comfortably sit Stephen and Virginia and a dozen of their intimate friends. The simple stylish chairs covered in red leather matching the colour of the curtains.

Clock, Dining Room, Eltham PalaceThe walls are lined with bird's eye maple giving the room a light feeling despite the black doors.

A small clock of inlaid wood is set into the wood panelling and could easily be missed among the overall glamour of the room.

A stunning space and that's just one room in this spectacular mansion.

Door, Dining Room, Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace and Gardens, English Heritage website

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Carlyle, Miami

The Carlyle Hotel, Miami

The Carlyle is a classic Miami Art Deco hotel from 1939 designed by Kiehnel & Elliott.

The Carlyle website

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

former Haverty Furniture Co Building, Asheville

former Haverty Furniture Co Building, Asheville

former Haverty's Furniture Co Building, AshevilleThe Haverty Furniture Co have been in business since 1885 and for a time this was their store at 60 Haywood st, Asheville, NC. It was built around 1928 and designed by WH Lord.

Pink terra cotta is used as decoration on the otherwise plain brick building. At the apex of the gabled front, a panel depicts a turkey, stylised floral forms, squirrels and roosters.

Elsewhere, panels show mythical dragon-like beasts, an eagle with a captured fish in its talons and just above street level a pair of panels with a winged horse and a dog.

former Haverty's Furniture Co Building, Asheville

former Haverty's Furniture Co Building, Asheville

Havertys History,
Haverty Furniture Company, front of store, photo by Ewart M Ball, UNCA Collection

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mona Court, South Yarra

Mona Court, South YarraThis article in The Argus from 16 August 1940 reports that Williams and Co sold both corners of Mona Place and Punt Road for 'subdivision in seven blocks suitable for sale'. Presumably, one of those blocks on the southern corner became Mona Court, a 'U' shaped block of flats.

Each of the flats on the Punt Road arm of the 'U' have small brick balconies but interestingly there are no balconies on the other side.

Mona Court, South Yarra

The Punt Road side also have staircases between the front flats and the back flats which is mirrored on the other side.

Mona Court, South Yarra

The centre court formed by the arms of the 'U' has shrubs and small trees providing a lot of privacy to the ground floor flats and no doubt dampening the noise from the traffic on Punt Road. It also has this wonderful decorative brick section.

Mona Court, South Yarra

Flats Sites are Selling, The Argus, Friday 16 August 1940

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Walthamstow Town Hall

Walthamstow Town Hall

I've just finished reading all of Steig Larsson's millennium trilogy so perhaps subconciously when I flicked across these pictures of Walthamstow Town Hall they jumped out as the subject for today's article.

Walthamstow, of course, is in east London, not Sweden. However the London Open House website describes the Town Hall, designed by PD Hepworth and built from 1937-1942, as Swedish influenced.

The eterior of the building is almost without any decoration except on the sides of the columns in front of the entrance where you will find a series of small friezes like the one of a bricklayer below.

Detail, Walthamstow Town Hall

London Open House