Of all the architectural styles, Art Deco — or Arts Décoratifs — is perhaps the most recognisable.

Known to illustrate luxury, old-school glamour and sophistication, with vibrant hues and bold geometric patterns, Art Deco was developed in France while the country was recovering from the aftermath of World War I. Years of austerity during the war gave way to a period of extravagance after it ended, giving birth to this opulent style.

The style was first exhibited at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts (“Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes”) held in Paris in 1925. On display were works of over 15,000 designers, artists, and architects such as Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Jean Dunand, and Pierre Chareau. The artworks showcased the bold use of colours and straight, clean lines. The exhibition was toured by 16 million people over a span of seven months.

The movement soon reached the US, and icons of Art Deco architecture like the Rockefeller Center were built. In the 1930s, it also saw a boom in Miami’s South Beach. After experiencing a decline during World War II, the style slowly revived in the 1960s and 1970s, especially in the US, owing to illustrations in books and magazines. Today, Art Deco finds a place in buildings, contemporary fashion, jewellery, and art.

Let us look at some of the most stunning Art Deco buildings around the world — some incorporated with Egyptian influences, as well as elements of cubism and futurism.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore

(Main and featured image: Ferdinand Stöhr/ Unsplash)

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