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

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

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

Brighton Kiosk

A projecting roof provides shelter

This former bus shelter and convenience store in Brighton is now used as a little kiosk coffee shop for the adjacent park. It has a distinctive Art Deco curve that runs from the broad roof down through the windows and the building itself. Somehow it appears to have retained its original metal window frames. It is located halfway between the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Beach.

View from the park side

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

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

Blunts Shoes, Leicester

Green trim and grey stone

The city of Leicester, in the English midlands, is home to Blunts Shoes located on the corner at 128-132 Granby Street. The building was originally constructed in 1933 for the business of Nathan Harris Furnishings and features many fine Art Deco details. It was designed by the architects Symington, Prince and Pike who clad it in Portland limestone and covered it with a stylish pantile roof. The extra part on the left is a carefully blended extension from the early 1960s.

The other side of the corner
A close-up of the metal window grate
Another delightful detail of the Blunts Shoes building

Government buildings, Venice

A distinctive curving bay window

Located on Venice’s island known as the Lido, these two buildings both appear to be local or regional government offices. Both have beige façades with brown trim and curves incorporated into their designs, as well as strong metal grilles over all of the windows.

This one curves around a corner

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.