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
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.