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Rua Carlos Mardel 59, Lisbon

A carefully balanced exterior

A rather jazzy central Lisbon apartment block from the diagonals on the main entrance to the angular features of the façade. These include the angled bay windows up the centre of the building and the small, angled balconies accompanying them, along with the white horizontal bars running across the exterior.

Chevrons merging into diamond forms

An angled façade viewed from an angle

Small House, Rio de Janeiro

A petit but pleasing bungalow

This small but enchanting Brazilian house is in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Faced in a grey stone, it features a modest parapet rising from the vertical bands of stone. There are Art Deco motifs carved into the surface of the three central bands that begin at the window lintel. An original metal sunburst screen protects the window.

Sunburst window screen

Royal Exchange Hotel, Sydney

Horizontal bands are the main decorative feature

The Royal Exchange Hotel in Sydney be found in the city’s Marrickville district, a suburb in the inner west of Sydney. Located on a corner lot, it features period lettering around the top spelling out the name, and a parapet with horizontal and vertical decorative bands.

The parapet on the corner

Guia, Algarve

Note the sequence of steps

This row of nicely repainted one storey buildings was originally designed as a unity for what was probably residential purposes. Located on a busy, main road in Guia, a small town not far inland from the coast of Portugal’s Algarve, they form a part of the region’s Art Deco heritage today. There is a felicitous balance of vertical and horizontal elements.

Horizontal bars in pink are the main decorative element

Railways Road Services Building, Dunedin

Dunedin’s former bus station

This long, horizontal edifice is the former New Zealand Railways Road Services Building in the South Island city of Dunedin. It was the city’s main bus station and garage for many decades. Located at 35 Queens Gardens, it was designed by James Hodge White and Eric Miller and constructed in 1939. The building now serves the Dunedin Otago Settlers Museum.

Art Deco features include irregular pleating above the ‘Exit’ and ‘Entrance’ found near the façade ends. It also has smooth, hemispherical curves at the ends. The upper part of the centre of the building has vertical bands topped off by crenellations. The building was registered under New Zealand’s Historic Places Act in 1980. Thanks to Robert Piggott for providing the photographs.

The central block of the builiding
Note the sawtooth line along the top

Hotel Waterloo, Wellington

A dash of the Jazz Age in the NZ capital

The 1937 Hotel Waterloo was designed by the Wellington firm of Atkins and Mitchell and was constructed for New Zealand Breweries company who wanted a luxurious, modern look. The location at 28 Waterloo Quay was close to the Wellington train station and to the ferry terminal, a strategic placing for travellers who would appreciate its fine bars. After fifty odd years of service it shut its doors in the late 1980s for a few years, only to be reborn as a backpackers’ hostel. The bands of decorative motifs consisting of chevron forms and semi-circles are still distinctive. Thanks again to Taika Kyriak for providing these photos.

The full façade of The Hotel Waterloo
The chevron forms and semicircle motifs

Halford House, Leicester

The mixed façade of Halford House

Originally constructed as headquarters on Charles Street for the Leicester Temperance Building Society, 1955-59, it was later taken over by the Alliance & Leicester Building Society. Now known as Halford House, it is in part occupied by Pick Everard Keay and Gimson, the architects who first conceived it. The building is a fascinating fusion of new norms of modernism with existing Art Deco forms, notably the central clock tower flanked by two wings, and the use of a bay window. Certainly the most striking feature is the decorative clock found top centre of the main façade. This depicts the Four Winds Blowing, and was designed by local artist and educator Albert Pountney (1915-1982).

A unity of wind power, and time
The central, hexagonal clock tower

Condes Cinema, Lisbon

Façade of the Condes Cinema

While the Condes Cinema opened in 1951 buildings at this location of Praça dos Restauradores at Rua Condes already had a long history as theatres. First opening as the Teatro da Rua dos Condes in 1738, the theatre began its life as an opera house. It was constructed on land on land owned by the Conde da Ericeira (Count of Ericeira) by what is now known as the Rua Condes. This was a part of the city popular with the nobility, and several aristocrats had their palaces there. The theatre had to be rebuilt in 1755 after being badly damaged by the terrible Lisbon earthquake earlier that year.

A new theatre, the Teatro Novo da Rua dos Condes, was constructed in 1888 on the same location, and ten years later it  remodelled inside to increase seating capacity. Then the twentieth century and its technological marvels arrived and by 1915 theatre had been converted into a cinema. This survived for decades until 1951 when it was torn apart to make way for a purpose-built cinema, the building we see today. The architect Raul Tojal began with the shell of the previous theatre and the new cinema was able to project 70mm films. The new Condes Cinema almost survived until the twenty-first century, closing in 1997. It was converted into the Hard Rock Café, Lisbon, in 2003.

The angel of cinema
The corner location at Praça dos Restauradores

Calle Xativa 21, Valencia

A nine-storey mixed-use building

This 1930s apartment and commercial use building is located in the elegant Sant Francesc area of central Valencia on Calle Xativa, across from the Valencia North train station. It folds around a corner lot and has upper divisions, though these are not fully stepped in. There are some excellent Art Deco carved relief panels on the horizontal interstices of the windows. One of these depicts a modern sun god with a gear wheel representing the sun.

The upper part of the edifice
Carved stone relief panels
An exuberant, flowing image of a sun god

Anscombe Flats, Wellington

Curves galore on this pleasing apartment block

Located at 212 Oriental Parade, the Anscombe Flats were named for the prominent and prolific New Zealand architect Edmund Anscombe. He purchased the land in 1933, designed the building, and the apartments were completed in 1937. Anscombe planned to sell the apartments and live in the top floor penthouse. He lived there until he passed away in 1948 at age 78. A spectacular New Zealand example of Streamlined Moderne, it has curved corners and moulded window hoods at the front. A big thank you to Taika Kyriak for providing these photos.

Cream and light brown bands for colour
A right-hand side view