IMPELLED BY PARISIANS IN 1910, ART DECO IS A VISUAL ARTS MOVEMENT THAT BECAME A LAVISH INFLUENCE COMBINING CRAFT OF MATERIAL AND MACHINE THAT REFLECTED ON FASHION, PHOTOGRAPHY, PRODUCT DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE. BOOMING IN THE 1920S, IT PLAYED ON RICH COLOURS AND DEMONSTRATED ITS SHAPES THROUGH GEOMETRIC STYLES. RADIATING THE RAZZLE-DAZZLE OF THE ERA UNTIL 1940, IT BECAME A TRULY TIMELESS MOVEMENT THAT’S EMBEDDED IN TODAY’S CULTURE. SO GO ON AND DELVE INTO ART DECO’S CHARISMA…
One of England’s most cherished hotels, Claridge’s, went under an Art Deco transformation in the twenties. The building flourished after WW1, when aristocrats searched for somewhere to stay. In the very heart of Mayfair, both interior and exterior design in the building was devised by the great Basil Ionides and Oswald Milne. At the entrance to The Fumoir, an original Lalique door panel can be found, still intact with its luxurious features. Its decor its wonderful, as numerous rooms retain the classic characteristics. Take a trip for afternoon tea, or stay in one of their authentic suites to splendour at the elegance.
Originally erected as a medieval palace, the building is a stature of class. In true Gatsby manner, it become a millionaire’s mansion in 1930. Stephen and Virginia Courtauld commissioned architects Steeley and Paget to decor their home in the style of the movement. This palace manifests class from head to toe, boasting a beautiful mix of royalty and the style of the era. Amidst all the lights and decadence, the place is now in the care of English Heritage. To fully see the glamour of what the Courtaulds envisaged, buy tickets here.
CARRERAS TOBACCO COMPANY
With the raging desire for cigarettes during WW1, Carreras opening this factory in Camden to cope with demand in 1928. Evidently, the building’s aesthetics are impelled with Egyptian features, designed in alight to the discovery of Tutankahmun’s tomb. Architects O.H. Collins, M. Collins and Arthur Porri drew their inspiration from the British Museum, showcasing the treasures and luxe objects from Egypt. Although the building is in use as offices today, you can still marvel at the exterior, or give the Bastet cats a pat.
BATTERSEA POWER STATION
Originally an industrial landmark, it’s now one of London’s most loved structures. Blueprinted by the celebrated Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who designed the red telephone box and Liverpool Cathedral, the building was bound to go down as one of the era’s most cherished constructions. (All that from a power station). What’s remarkable is that the building is now under renovation to be a complex of workspaces, homes, restaurants and cultural venues. So if you’re hankering after a true Art Deco home, then they even have pent-house suites. Who knew a power station could be so prestigious?
TRAFALGAR STUDIOS (WHITEHALL THEATRE)
In its previous glory, the Whitehall Theatre opened in 1930 with its showing of The Way to Treat a Woman. The interior Art Deco style was designed by Laverdet and Marc-Henri, whom also created a stalls bar inside based on a liner’s saloon. The colour scheme being black and silver, reflected not only the era’s charm, but the romantic idea of going to the theatre. The building re-opened as Trafalgar Studios in the naughties to host many more productions. Functioning as two intimate theatres, Studio One opened in 2004 with its Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Othello, and Studio Two in 2005 with Cyprus. We definitely recommend a visit, if not to admire the adornment, but to have a truly unique theatre experience. To see what productions are showing at Trafalgar Studios, click here.