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

Chancery House & Chancery Park, Dublin

Chancery House has a variety of exterior surfaces

Dublin has many fine Art Deco buildings, and this residence, accompanied by an adjacent public park, is a fine example. Chancery House is a four-storey 1935 apartment block which features curved corners, curved overhanging eaves, flat roofs and a channelled render along the top floor. Overall the building has a clear, horizontal emphasis. Beside it is Chancery Park which has a delightful kiosk with a geometric window grate and a stepped parapet for a square clock. Curving top hexagonal gates to the park, and apartments, are another feature.

The man responsible for all of this was Herbert George Simms, a London-born architect who moved to Dublin in 1924 after studying architecture at the University of Liverpool. By 1925 he was working for the Dublin Corporation where he eventually became responsible for designing and constructing 17,000 new residences, thereby alleviating Dublin’s chronic housing problem. In addition to British contemporary architects he was also inspired by the Dutch, in particular Michel  de Klerk in Amsterdam and J.P. Oud in Rotterdam.

Chancery Park & Chancery House are in the northwest of Dublin, Chancery Park at Charles Street West and Chancery House at 1-36 Chancery Place/Chancery Street, and Charles Street West. Global Art Deco is very grateful to Ian Byrne for providing these photos.

The hexagonal entrance to the park
Chancery Park and Chancery House
Chancery Park’s kiosk
Chancery Park’s octagonal fountain
Entrance to Chancery House with bronze plaques commemorating Herbert Simms

Rua Abade Faria 52, Lisbon

A modest stack of pleasing curves

We could certainly label this Lisbon apartment building as being Streamline Moderne with its racy, curving balconies. The street it is located on is named after a fascinating character known as Abade Faria, or Abbot Faria, born in 1756 in the Portuguese Indian colony of Goa as José Custódio de Faria. Aside from being a man of the cloth he was a revolutionary, and also one of the first to study hypnotism.

The building stands on a corner lot

Apartments (2), São Paulo

The pink place on the corner

Here are two Art Deco apartment blocks found in the older part of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. First, the pink one features continuous curving balconies and some nice fenestration to the right with coloured glass and porthole windows. The white building below is in Japantown in the Liberdade district, situated on Rua Galvão Bueno. It has curvy corners and balconies, and steps in gradually at the top.

Mixed commercial and residential

Devonshire Court, Durban

A ten-storey Art Deco tower

Global Art Deco is pleased to have another excellent guest post from the Durban Art Deco Society. Durban is South Africa’s third largest city and has many fine Art Deco buildings.

Devonshire Court is located on the former Victoria Embankment, now known as Margaret Mncadi Avenue. It received a fresh coat of paint over the last year and now has a bright green and yellow colour scheme suitable for an Art Deco apartment tower. Constructed in 1938, the building was designed by William Barboure, who also helped design the 1934 Surrey Mansions together with WE Langton. One unique feature of Devonshire Court is a tunnel for motor vehicles under the south side of the building, which leads through to Devonshire Place. In the tunnel and at the rear of the building is a motor vehicle service workshop.  The workshop is no longer in operation but the signage “Carburettors” and “Servicing” is still painted on the pillars of the tunnel. The entrance to the building is original, complete with terrazzo flooring.

Photos and text © Durban Art Deco Society

Detail of the top of Devonshire Court
A curved component hidden at the back
Chevron forms at the sides of the main entrance
The tunnel for motor vehicles
Another view of the main façade

Tejidos Marina, Valencia

A tall corner tower in maroon

A ten-storey curving corner building capped on the curve with a lantern, its lower floors are used for commercial purposes with apartments above. The ground floor is taken up by the fabric retailer Tejidos Marina, founded in 1953, some years after this building was constructed. It is located in the centre of Valencia at Avenida del Oeste 27 (originally known as Avenida Barón de Cárcer) at the corner of Calle de Adresadors.

Apartments, Lisbon

A distinctive corner tower

There are some apartment blocks on the Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar which have excellent Art Deco reliefs over their entrances. These are in the Saldanha district of Lisbon and belong to a group which probably all had the same team of architects.

The supportive family

The first is a building located at Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar 15, which features a corner tower that has a large, carved, stone relief of a family group above the entrance at its base. The mother and father are portrayed giving support on either side of the child.

The lovebirds at #9

Nearby at Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar #9 and #7 are two other related buildings with excellent street level carved, stone reliefs. The one at number #9 features a courting couple of birds, and at #7 a reclining woman lies wreathed with draperies. A date and the sculptor’s name is just visible on the latter at bottom left: 1942, Leopoldo.

Asleep and dreaming, perhaps?

Apartment Block, Benghazi

The curved end and railings give it a nautical look

Libya’s second largest city, located on the eastern littoral, is Benghazi. After being under Turkish rule for a very long time it was invaded by colonial Italians in 1911. There was consistent resistance to the Italian rulers there until they were pushed out during WW2. As in other North African countries such as Eritrea, Mussolini’s architects introduced contemporary European styles to Benghazi, and there are still some Art Deco buildings there. One nice example is this curvy ten storey apartment block in the centre of the city. It steps in stylishly at the three top floors.

Apartments, São Paulo

Brilliant Art Deco in Brazil’s largest city

This is an interesting eight storey apartment block in central São Paulo. It has a variety of period details and features slot windows and curving balconies. The neighbouring building, visible on the right in the photo below, also has curving balconies, as well as porthole windows.

Curved balconies all round