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.
- Modernist architecture.
- Spanish Colonial revival style.
- Tudor revival style.
Featured articles and news
Have a look at some of the most impressive concert stage designs of all time, including Pink Floyd, U2, Rolling Stones, and more...
What is the Home Quality Mark? Find out how it can help you when buying/renting a new home.
Business Secretary launches £246m Faraday Challenge to establish UK as world leader in battery technology.
Government announces new plans for regulations to improve safety and security awareness of drone users.
Read our introductory article to the various different types of fuel.
IHBC book review: Charles Barry’s monumental struggle to rebuild the Houses of Parliament.
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.