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Friday, 18 October 2013

London's best Art Deco buildings

Hey there!

The term Art Deco refers to a style that spanned the boom of the roaring 1920s and the bust of the Depression-ridden 1930s. It affected all forms of design, from the fine and decorative arts to fashion, film, photography, transport and product design.

 My fascination with the era itself comes mainly from it's amazing interior desing. Here are some of the most glamourous places that are true Art Deco.

1. Eltham Palace, Eltham

In 1933, a wealthy American couple named Stephen and Virginia Courtauld acquired Eltham Palace, the ruined childhood home of Henry VIII. They set about restoring the remaining parts of the palace and created an elaborate home with sumptuous art deco interiors to live in themselves. This is the extravagant entrance hall, with domed glass roof and curved wood-lined walls. 

2. Claridge's, Mayfair

This legendary hotel dates back to the 19th century but an opulent makeover in the 1920s by the architect Basil Lonides means that the building has become synonymous with art deco. In the late 1990s, even more rooms - including the foyer and restaurant - were transformed into art deco style.

3. Battersea Power Station, Battersea

An icon of 1930s industrial splendour, Battersea Power Station's art deco heritage is most apparent on the inside. There are many striking fittings and decorations, including Italian white marble wall tiles.

4. Carreras Cigarette Factory, Camden

This astonishing former factory was designed just four years after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun - a find which made Egyptian style extremely popular among the art deco architects of the 1920s. It's no surprise, then, that Egyptian motifs appear all over the building - right down to the two black cats guarding the entrance.

5. Hoover Building, Perivale

It's hard to believe this bright art deco building is now a supermarket, but Tesco has owned the Hoover Building since the 1980s. The property was formerly a factory for the Hoover Company, though it was also used to manufacture electrical equipment for planes and tanks during the Second World War. Sir John Betjeman described it as a "sort of Art Deco Wentworth Woodhouse [a stately home in Yorkshire] - with whizzing window curves... and splashes of primary colour from the Aztec and Mayan fashions at the 1925 Paris Exhibition".

6. Broadcasting House, West End

The BBC's distinctive headquarters, Broadcasting House, was opened in 1932. The building recently underwent a huge (if controversial) extension that quadrupled the corporation's space.

7. Florin Court, City of London

Used as the home of Agatha Christie's legendary detective Hercule Poirot in the TV series in the 1990s, Florin Court dates back to 1936. The residential building has a marvellous at deco curved facade that was built using specially-made bricks on a wire frame.

8. Ideal House, West End

This striking black granite building with its colourful enamel trimmings was constructed in the late 1920s as the headquarters of the American National Radiator Company. Black and gold were the livery of the company, explaining the unusual colour scheme.

9. Southgate tube station, Southgate

Many of London's tube stations are art deco in style. The flying-saucer like station at Southgate is one of the most memorable. It was designed by Charles Holden,  who created a whole clutch of stations in the 1920s and 30s 

10. Daily Telegraph building, City of London

Old newspaper haunt Fleet Street is home to a number of beautiful art deco buildings, incoluding the Daily Telegraph's old offices. The nearby Daily Express building also epitomises the style.

I don't know about you, but I had an overdose.
But.. There's more!

Be patient, there'll be a "part 2" soon!

♥♥ Pinky Honey


  1. Love this post! There's exceedingly little art deco architecture around here, and certainly not anything as resplendently beautiful as these London landmarks. I can't help but think of the many, many photo ops they would offer a vintage loving lady if she was in the vicinity. :)

    I hope you have a gorgeous weekend, my sweet friend!
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Well, you are ever so true, dear.
      I doubt that majority of buildings would get notices unless it was by a person loving vintage.. I love vintage, I'm on a lookout for vintage - hence: I find it. :)
      These images just mesmerized me, so I had to share them.. and I know a lot of us out there are going all "Aww, I'd love my town to have something like this".