Art Moderne, also known as ‘Streamline Moderne’, is an architectural style that developed out of 1930s Art Deco. It was seen as a response to the Great Depression, designing buildings to be more streamlined and austere as opposed to the ambitious, opulent forms of Art Deco.
Buildings of the Art Moderne style were designed to emphasise simple geometry, incorporating curving forms, long horizontal lines and occasionally nautical elements.
The European Bauhaus movement was influential on American designers who adopted the principle of taking classical architecture in its simplest form, stripped of ornamentation or ‘excess’, unlike the chevrons, zigzags and decoration of Art Deco.
Art Moderne buildings were typically designed in low, horizontal shapes as opposed to Art Deco’s tendency towards tall and vertical buildings. They were also usually white, whereas Art Deco buildings embraced colour. The sharp angles of Art Deco were replaced with simple, aerodynamic curves. Exotic timbers and stone were replaced with stucco, cement and glass.
Some of the most common characteristics of the Art Moderne style include:
- Low, horizontal and asymmetrical.
- Flat roofs with no eaves.
- Rounded corners.
- Smooth, white walls.
- Wraparound, porthole and glass block windows.
- Steel balustrades.
Some of the well-known built examples include:
- The Normandie Hotel, San Juan (see top image).
- Daily Express Building, Manchester.
- Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
- Ford Building, San Diego.
- De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.
- Coca-Cola Building, Los Angeles (see above).
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural styles.
- Art Deco.
- Art Nouveau.
- Arts and craft movement.
- Beaux Arts style.
- Chicago school of architecture.
- Classical Revival style.
- Constructivist architecture.
- Italian Renaissance revival style.
- Mimetic architecture.
- Spanish Colonial revival style.
- Tudor revival style.
Featured articles and news
Leaps, not steps, are needed to avoid a ticking time bomb, say BRE in response to Farmer Review.
A multi-purpose hall in France covered in a translucent orange membrane.
Winning designs revealed for a rock formation-influenced residential complex in Rennes.
An article explaining the techniques, regulations and environmental impacts of carbon capture and storage.
Watch one of the first documentaries by the acclaimed Adam Curtis, examining the substandard system building of the 1960s.
Take a look at the tech start-up that could transform construction design and communication.
This house in Barcelona uses an innovative new facade tiling system to blend into the landscape.
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.