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Daniel Le Couédic


(b Nantes, March 19, 1891; d Paris, Jan 20, 1966).

French architect and teacher. A student of Alfred-Henri Recoura (1864–1939), he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1920. He settled in Paris, and his first works were influenced by Art Deco. In 1923 he became one of the two architects of the new seaside resort of Sables-d’Or-les-Pins (Côtes-du-Nord). There, and in the nearby village of Val-André, Abraham began his analysis and rejection of the picturesque in such buildings as Villa Miramar (1928) and Villa Ramona (1929). In 1929, in partnership with Henry-Jacques Le Même (b 1897), he made his first design for a sanatorium, later executing three examples at Passy (Haute-Savoie), which are among his best works: Roc-de-Fiz (1931), Guébriant (1933) and Geoffroy de Martel de Janville (1939). Two blocks of flats built in Paris in 1931 (at 28 Boulevard Raspail and Square Albinoni) characterize the peak of his production in their precision and sobriety of composition, moderate use of the modernist vocabulary and use of new techniques and materials....


(b Boulogne-sur-Seine, May 3, 1870; d Paris, Aug 14, 1935).

French architect. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Paul-René-Léon Ginain and Louis-Henri-Georges Scellier de Gisors, receiving his architectural diploma in 1892. His early work included S. Bing’s Art Nouveau pavilion (destr.) at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 (inspired by Louis Bonnier’s initial project), blocks of flats in Paris in ashlar work, for example 236–238 Boulevard Raspail, 105 Rue Raymond Poincaré (both 1906) and the corner site of the Avenues du Bois de Boulogne et Malakoff (c. 1908), as well as regionalist constructions (garage in Neuilly and rural buildings in Herqueville and Heilly). He participated regularly in the competitions organized by the City of Paris, building low-cost housing schemes in the Rue Brillat-Savarin (1914–30) and the garden city at Chatenay-Malabry (1920–32) in collaboration with Joseph Bassompierre and Paul de Rutté. Following World War I he was named architect for the reconstruction schemes for the districts of Aisne and Pas-de-Calais....


Suzanne Tise

Descriptive term applied to a style of decorative arts that was widely disseminated in Europe and the USA during the 1920s and 1930s. Derived from the style made popular by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, the term has been used only since the late 1960s, when there was a revival of interest in the decorative arts of the early 20th century. Since then the term ‘Art Deco’ has been applied to a wide variety of works produced during the inter-war years, and even to those of the German Bauhaus. But Art Deco was essentially of French origin, and the term should, therefore, be applied only to French works and those from countries directly influenced by France.

The development of the Art Deco style, or the Style moderne as it was called at the time, closely paralleled the initiation of the 1925...


Term generally applied to architecture and design movements between 1925 and 1945. Derived from the title of the international exhibition of industrial and decorative arts held in Paris in 1925, ‘Art Deco’ was coined in 1968 by British historian Bevis Hillier to describe the architecture and design arts of the 1920s and 1930s, known at the time as Art Moderne. In actuality, Art Deco is a catchall term for different developments in the design arts and architecture between the World Wars. In some circles, Art Deco is considered an outgrowth of French Art Nouveau, the German Jugendstil and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Architectural historian David Gebhard distinguished three styles within Art Deco architecture in America: ‘Zigzag Moderne’, ‘Streamlined Moderne’ and the more classically retrained ‘PWA Moderne’ or ‘Federal Moderne’. These same three, Robert Craig labels ‘Art Deco’, ‘Streamlined Moderne’ and ‘Modern classic in American architecture’. Design historian Jeffrey L. Meikle refers to varying Art Deco styles as ‘exposition style’, ‘modernistic’ and ‘streamlined’, avoiding using the phrase ‘streamline[d] moderne’ as it suggests a strong connection with the French Moderne style....


Richard Guy Wilson

Richard Guy Wilson

Stylistic term applied to architecture and decorative arts of the 1920s and 1930s whose origin partially lies with the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris (see Art Deco). The term was invented in 1966 and initially applied just to French 1920s design but shortly thereafter grew to encompass a wide variety of modernist architecture and design that displayed decorative traits that stood in contrast to the more austere Modern style sometimes known as Functionalism, Bauhaus style, or International Style. Synonyms for Art Deco have included Style moderne, Art Moderne, Modernistic, Cubistic, Manhattan style, skyscraper style, setback style, zigzag style, streamlined, stripped Classicism, Greco Deco, and others.

The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925 was a lavish spectacle of pavilions and exhibits that showcased the latest modern tendencies in French and foreign design. Originally scheduled for ...


Regina Maria Prosperi Meyer

(Antonio da Cunha )

(b Rio de Janeiro, Dec 4, 1891; d São Paulo, Aug 1980).

Brazilian architect and teacher. He studied architecture at the Escuola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro (1908–10, 1918–20) and carried out his major work in the 1920s and 1930s, during the transition from eclecticism to Modernism in Brazil. He was strongly influenced by the work of the Perret brothers, the potential of reinforced concrete and Art Deco, and he became a pioneer of the rational use of reinforced concrete in the Art Deco style. His first major work was the 30-storey headquarters of the newspaper A Noite (1927; with Joseph Gire), Rio de Janeiro. It was the tallest reinforced concrete building in Brazil at that time, pioneering in its use of a rational structural design worked out by Emilio Baungart, the engineer who was later responsible for the structure of the Ministry of Education and Health building (1937) in Rio by Le Corbusier. In ...


Marie-Laure Crosnier Leconte


(b The Hague, 1834; d Jouy-en-Josas, Sept 13, 1907).

French architect of Dutch birth. He moved to France about 1840, when his mother, who was divorced, married the French architect Léon Vaudoyer, who, like her, was a Protestant. In 1868 he adopted French nationality. Bouwens studied architecture (1853–7) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the ateliers of Henri Labrouste and Vaudoyer. Thanks to the influence of his stepfather he then joined the administration of the City of Paris, first as deputy inspector to his stepfather at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers and from 1860 as chief architect for the 16e arrondissement. Through his involvement in the development of Auteuil he gained the confidence of its backer, Baron Erlanger, a businessman of German origin who had made his fortune in France under the Second Empire, and this led to some private commissions. In 1861 Bouwens also married into a German family with connections in international finance. The resulting network of family connections and private patronage enabled him to give up his administrative posts and devote himself entirely to a wealthy and cosmopolitan clientele, many of whose members were Jewish or Protestant, for which he produced work in an eclectic and refined style that was rooted in the Second Empire. This clientele expanded from the financial world to include collectors, authors and foreign aristocrats....


José Manuel Fernandes

(b Lisbon, Aug 15, 1897; d Lisbon, April 24, 1970).

Portuguese architect. He graduated in architecture (1926) from the Escola de Belas Artes, Lisbon, and early in his career produced one of the most impressive Art Deco buildings in Lisbon, the Eden cinema (1930–31; with Carlos Dias; later altered), Praça dos Restauradores. This building incorporated suggestions of Futurism, notably in the dynamic spatial design and definition of the main entrance and staircase system as well as the volumetric glass façade. He also designed one of the city’s most imaginative Rationalist buildings, the Hotel Vitória (1934, Avenida da Liberdade. He later worked on the Coliseum (1939; with Júlio de Brito and Mário de Abreu) in Rua Passos Manuel, Oporto, another important Modernist building. One of the most talented architects of the early Modern Movement in Portugal, Branco was an unusual figure and a combative personality; his early involvement in left-wing political activity resulted in his increasing professional isolation in the context of the reactionary government (...


French, 20th century, male.

Born 1925, in Paris.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, engraver, sculptor, designer of ornamental architectural features. Figures, landscapes. Statues.

Art Deco.

François Brochet was the son of the painter and playwright Henri Brochet, and was taught dance, theatre and puppeteering at home. In ...


French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1940.

Born 4 August 1883, in Bordeaux; died 24 August 1950, in New York.

Decorative artist, architect, designer, draughtsman. Furniture.

Art Deco.

Pierre Chareau worked in France until 1939, then went to live in New York. He regularly participated in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in Paris. In ...


(b San Francisco, Jan 8, 1873; d New York, April 21, 1954).

American architect, teacher and writer. He studied engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1895, and then went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1896), where he entered the atelier of Jean-Louis Pascal and received his diploma in 1900. In 1901 he joined the New York office of Cass Gilbert as a draughtsman, later going into partnership (1903–12) with F. Livingston Pell and, until 1922, with Frank J. Helmle. His earliest major commissions were won in competitions, including those for the Maryland Institute (1908–13) in Baltimore, a variation on a Florentine palazzo, and the classical Municipal Group building (1916–17) in Springfield, MA. From 1907 to the mid-1930s he lectured at the Columbia School of Architecture, which followed the Beaux-Arts educational system. The vertically expressive Bush Terminal Tower (1920–24) on 42nd Street, New York, with its prominent position and slight setbacks in buff, white and black brick, marked his début as an influential skyscraper designer and he maintained his leading position through the 1920s and 1930s. Both in his work and writing for the media, Corbett explored the creative potential of the ‘setback’ restrictions of the New York zoning laws of ...


M. Stapleton

(b 1900; d 1942).

Australian architect. His major work began in 1929 when he won the competition for the Anzac War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, with a design for a monumental, blocky and sculptural building to commemorate World War I. The Memorial, completed by 1934, incorporates sculpture by Rayner Hoff and emotive architectural imagery to contrive a building closely allied to the popular sentiment of the period. Dellit was one of the first Australian architects to embrace modern architectural forms, and he became an outspoken critic of the use of historic motifs in contemporary city buildings. His highly personalized architecture used the decorative motifs and forms of the Art Deco style. His commercial work in Sydney included the Liberty Cinema (1934; destr.), with a striking, stepped Art Deco façade; Kinsela Funeral Chapel (1933), now remodelled as a nightclub, designed in Art Deco-inspired ‘gothic’; and the office blocks Kyle House (...


American, 20th century, male.

Born 1894, in Blue Earth (Minnesota); died 1989.

Designer, graphic artist.

Art Deco.

Donald Deskey studied architecture at the University of California, before travelling to Paris in 1923 where he studied painting and worked as a graphic designer. In 1926 he moved to New York and started his own design firm. He created a wide variety of objects ranging from clocks to radios, furniture and machines, and his most notable commission was for the interiors of Radio City Music Hall in ...


Reviser Margaret Barlow

(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).

American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...


Jean-François Lejeune

(b Live Oak, FL, Feb 16, 1901; d Long Island, 1949).

American architect. Dixon studied at Georgia School of Technology in Atlanta (1918–20) and joined the firm of New York architects Schultze & Weaver in 1923, where he learned the practice of hotel architecture as “total design,” worked on projects such as the Roney Plaza Hotel on Miami Beach, and was introduced to the discipline of the Art Deco language by Lloyd Morgan. Returning to Florida in 1929, Dixon worked for George Fink, Phineas Paist, and Harold D. Steward before opening his office and building his first apartment-hotel (the Ester) on Miami Beach in 1933. Until 1942 Dixon was the foremost architectural innovator in Miami Beach where, along with colleagues such as Henry Hohauser, Albert Anis, and Roy France, he adapted the architectural innovations coming from Europe and New York to the middle-class programs of the southern resort; employing inexpensive construction techniques, Dixon created a its unique “vernacular modern” architectural fabric. Until Igor Polevitzky in the 1950s, Dixon was the most published Florida architect in such periodicals as ...


Jason Tippeconnic Fox

(b Cernauti, Bukovina [now in Ukraine], Jan 2, 1875; d Stamford, CT, March 5, 1954).

American architect of Austro-Hungarian birth. Eberson is noted as an influential specialist in Cinema design, especially “atmospheric” cinemas. He was educated in Dresden and at the College of Technology in Vienna, where he studied electrical engineering. Eberson immigrated to the United States in 1901 and transitioned to architectural design through work with the St. Louis-based Johnston Realty and Construction Company. This led to the establishment of Eberson’s eponymous architectural firm, although sources differ in regard to the precise date and initial location. The main office relocated from Hamilton, OH to Chicago in 1910 and to New York in 1926. In 1928, his son Drew Eberson (1904–89) became a full partner in the firm, which was renamed John and Drew Eberson, Architects.

Eberson’s early theaters such as the Palace (1914) in Minneapolis were predominantly conventional classically inspired designs. However, in 1923 he set himself apart with the completion of his first fully realized “atmospheric” movie palace, the Majestic in Houston. Atmospheric theaters gave audiences the illusion of sitting in a courtyard beneath the twinkling stars and rolling clouds of the night sky. The electronic nocturnal effects were enhanced by sidewalls resembling the picturesque facades of adjoining buildings, lush foliage, stuffed birds, bubbling fountains and statuary. While the open sky effect was not without precedent, Eberson employed it as part of a larger theme, typically Italian or Spanish, which shaped the design of the entire theater....


Alan Powers

(b Audley, Staffs, Dec 23, 1889; d London, Nov 20, 1956).

English architect. He was articled to Chapman and Snape and studied at evening classes at Burslem Art School near Stoke-on-Trent, before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London, in 1911. While working as an assistant to Trehearne and Norman, he met Thomas Tait, whose partnership with J. J. Burnet Emberton he joined after service in World War I. Tait’s style influenced his early work (in partnership with P. J. Westwood (1878–1958), 1922–6). They designed kiosks for the British Empire exhibition at Wembley, London (1924), and Summit House (1925), Red Lion Square, London. Emberton visited the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925 and was one of the earliest English architects to work in the Art Deco style (e.g. shopfronts for Lotus and Delta shoes, c. 1927; see Ind, pl. 38). His unified scheme for the Advertising Exhibition (...


French, 20th century, male.

Born 17 July 1877, in Paris; died 1941, in Ste-Maxime.

Designer, architect.

Art Nouveau, Art Deco.

Paul Follot studied under Eugène Samuel Grasset, who was renowned as an interior decorator. He exhibited in Paris at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Salon d'Automne and Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, in which he was very active....


Paul Crossley

(b Prague, 1879; d Princeton, NJ, Jan 30, 1962).

American art historian. He first trained as an architect but, in his early thirties, he turned to the study of art history and in 1911 submitted his doctoral dissertation at Munich University on 15th-century stained glass in southern Germany. Under the influence of his teacher, Heinrich Wölfflin, Frankl soon attempted a systematic definition of the formal principles underlying Renaissance and post-Renaissance architecture. His first theoretical work, Die Entwicklungsphasen der neueren Baukunst (1914), was strongly influenced by the visual formalism and philosophical idealism of German art history in the decades before World War I. It isolated four main categories of analysis, which were fundamental to much of his later investigations: spatial composition, treatment of mass and surface (‘corporeal form’), treatment of light, colour and other optical effects (‘visible form’), and the relation of design to social function (‘purposive intention’). His emphasis on spatial analysis as a determinant of style relied heavily on August Schmarsow’s works on Baroque and Rococo architecture. His concept of ‘visible form’ (sometimes called ‘optical form’), which presupposes that viewers derive their experience of a building kinetically, as the mental synthesis of many images from different viewpoints, owed much to late 19th-century theories of perception, in particular to Konrad Fiedler’s and Adolf von Hildebrand’s emphasis on the physiological and psychological processes of seeing, and to Alois Riegl’s notion of ‘haptic’ and ‘optic’ forms. Frankl’s principal debt, however, lay in his adoption of Wölfflin’s quasi-Hegelian model of style as a predetermined, supra-individual force, impelled onwards by its own immanent laws, and evolving from one art-historical period to another through the action and counter-action of ‘polar opposites’: the underlying formal principles of a style are diametrically antithetical to those of the styles preceding and succeeding it....


Hervé Paindaveine

(b Brussels, April 7, 1877; d Brussels, Feb 22, 1956).

Belgian interior designer and architect. He was the son of the painter Adolphe Hamesse (1849–1925) and studied architecture at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He then worked successively in the offices of Paul Hankar and Alban Chambon. With the latter he found his true vocation in interior design using numerous ornamental components, manufactured industrially, which he excelled at combining in Art Nouveau compositions. Assisted by his two brothers, the painters Georges Hamesse (b 1874) and Léon Hamesse (b 1883), he responded to the eclectic tastes of the period by exploiting a very broad range of styles in such commissions as the Cohn-Donnay house (1904), the Ameke department store (1905), a masonic lodge (1909) and the Théâtre des Variétés (1909), all in Brussels. He also worked on a number of cinemas in Brussels, including the Artistic Palace (...