Streamline Moderne Interior Design
Streamline Moderne, also referred to as Style Paquebot (Ocean Liner Style), was a design style popular during the 1930s-1950 that employed curvier shapes that suggested horizontal speed than Art Deco did. Streamline Moderne can often
Streamline Moderne, also referred to as Style Paquebot (Ocean Liner Style), was a design style popular during the 1930s-1950 that employed curvier shapes that suggested horizontal speed than Art Deco did. Streamline Moderne can often be seen in buildings associated with travel and movement such as airport terminals and roadside cafes.
Examples of such architecture can be seen at LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Terminal and on board SS Normandie passenger ship, both iconic examples.
Simple and Elegant
Streamline Moderne architecture was an early response to the Great Depression that was heavily influenced by aerodynamic industrial design. As its name implies, this style aimed for simplicity and elegance in design; typical features include horizontal emphasis with rounded corners and minimal ornamentation such as flat roofs or glass block construction; additionally glass block roofing can often feature sleek surfaces and chrome-plated hardware for additional nautical touches.
Streamline Moderne architecture was immensely popular within industries related to travel and transportation. This style could often be found in bus or train stations, airport terminals, roadside diners and port buildings – such as bus/train stations, airport terminals and port buildings – such as those found at bus/train stations, airport terminals, roadside diners or port buildings – popularized by SS Normandie during Los Angeles World Fair 1934 (Maritime Museum of the Americas San Diego is an outstanding example). This architecture style evokes feelings of speed through smooth curves suggesting horizontal movement – ideal for travel industries!
Milton J. Black was one of several local architects who excelled in this style, having designed many Streamline Moderne apartment complexes like the 1940 Westwood-Ambassador Apartments on Wilshire Boulevard and others in Los Angeles like First Church of Deliverance on Beverly Boulevard or Mercantile National Bank building on Westwood Boulevard.
Broadly speaking, American technology and optimism drive this style. Its smooth surfaces convey a feeling of progress while showing optimism about what may lie ahead.
The Streamline Moderne style was an important precursor to the International Style that gained prominence across Europe after World War II. It had such an effect that many elements can still be found today; for instance, our cars are now designed with aerodynamic elements to reduce air resistance – something pioneered during Streamline Moderne design in the 1930s.
Sophisticated and Sophisticated
Attractively known as Streamline Moderne (or Art Moderne for short), this design style came to prominence during the 1930s and 1940s, when its retro curves and pastel colors nod back to cars, boats, planes and other machines from that era. You’ll often spot this style in restaurants, airport terminals and hotels.
Streamline Moderne architecture was an evolving form of Art Deco that utilized curving shapes to evoke movement and speed, often featuring nautical themes in its designs.
Streamline Moderne was meant to be both elegant and sophisticated; unlike Art Deco which featured overt ornamentation, Streamline Moderne was more subdued and understated due to economic considerations at that time.
Mass production during the early 1930s had another profound influence, as its cheaper materials allowed for easier and more attractive design to spread beyond exclusive circles of architects. From Bakelite pencil sharpeners to kitchen stoves, numerous products benefited from this new economy of scale.
At that time, streamlined buildings at major expositions such as Chicago’s Century of Progress World’s Fair and San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition received significant media coverage – helping Streamline Moderne gain widespread acceptance.
Style was also evident in a number of beloved movies, such as 1937’s classic “Shall We Dance?” in which Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performed their romantic dance on an ocean liner’s promenade deck.
Locally, several Streamline Moderne buildings remain, including the First Church of Deliverance – designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument back in 1975 – which features sleek curves combined with flat roof and white stucco walls that define this architectural style; additionally it boasts porthole windows and steel-pipe balustrades for an authentic experience.
You’ll recognize the clean lines and curved shapes characteristic of Streamline Moderne architecture when visiting Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida. South Beach was at one time an epicenter for this style’s construction; other examples can be seen across the country — even Hollywood where actors such as Wallace Beery had their Streamline Moderne homes built.
Sleek and Sophisticated
Although similar to Art Deco in certain respects, Streamline Moderne stripped away unnecessary ornamentation from its structures and featured more rounded corners and aerodynamic influences; industrial design was at the heart of Streamline Moderne design as it encouraged optimism for technology’s promise and an improved future. This style proved more fitting for Depression-era America than more flamboyant styles such as Art Deco; this modern look reflected it through an optimistic belief that technology promised better futures for everyone.
As part of its focus on efficiency and functionality, modern designers increasingly preferred materials like bent metal tubing, synthetic materials and Bakelite plastic components over more luxurious options such as ebony or richly veined marble. Though such mass produced options did not match ebony or marble’s elegance, they offered sleek moderne design to a cash-strapped public at an affordable cost.
Streamline Moderne was intended to convey a sense of speed and travel while also reflecting an increasing interest in aerodynamics. Its aim was to reduce air resistance in airplanes, cars, trains and ships for greater efficiency – thus the name “Streamline Moderne.” One notable Streamline Moderne structure is San Juan Puerto Rico’s SS Normandie Hotel built to resemble ocean liners that inspired this style; similarly diners like Sterling Streamliner were built into the shape of streamline trains.
The trend towards aerodynamic design became so widespread during the 1930s that it even applied to automobiles – leading to a new style known as Streamliners which featured smooth curves to reduce air resistance and maximize efficiency.
This sleek look was influenced by multiple styles, including Constructivism – a Russian aesthetic which drew on urban spaces and industrial society for inspiration – and New Objectivity, an American movement heavily influenced by Bauhaus; additionally it served as a response to economic hardships caused by the Great Depression that encouraged more minimalist approaches that focused on simple lines and geometric forms.
Although Streamline Moderne may not be as widely employed in residential architecture than its predecessor Art Deco, the style can still be found in numerous homes. Most often this architectural style features curved accents like porthole-shaped windows or doors as its signature feature. Other features that contribute to its smooth design are horizontal emphasis, use of glass block material and an emphasis on industrial design. One home that perfectly displays these features is the Beery House in Los Angeles, designed by architect Howard Lydecker in Streamline Moderne style and designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1975. Maddie Sadofski, its current owner, restored it back to its original elegance by keeping original features like chromed ceiling lights and ribbed Pyrex kitchen cabinets intact.
Simple and Sophisticated
Streamline Moderne architecture was an aesthetic response to austerity of Depression-era America, its sleek curves reflecting optimism about an optimistic future. Inspired by aerodynamics, buildings featuring this style often resemble ocean liners – long lines, polished surfaces, curved edges and chrome accents are common features.
From 1930s appliances and cars, you’ll notice an attractive, sleek modern aesthetic. This era’s revival of industrial design was seen through futuristic toasters to Bakelite pencil sharpeners as well as cars boasting clean linear lines – this time period saw everything from futuristic toasters to Bakelite pencil sharpeners and more!
Architecture was also transformed by this look, especially at major expositions and fairs during this era. Streamline Moderne structures created an illusion of movement by having rounded corners, flat roofs, glass brick walls, porthole windows and chrome-plated hardware – features which evoked speed and excitement; perfect for transportation-related buildings such as bus and train stations, airport terminals, roadside cafes and the emerging concept of motor hotels (or motels). They were usually painted white or subdued pastel colors.
Some iconic examples of Streamline Moderne architecture are the Pan Pacific Auditorium on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles designed by Wurdeman and Becket, the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant near downtown L.A. with its rows of white metal porthole windows; and the RCA Exhibit Building from 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair where its long slender lines and red-and-black bands alluded to luxury ocean liners such as the SS Normandie.
Though short-lived, the Streamline Moderne style left an invaluable legacy in architecture and interior design. It paved the way for International Style of mid-20th century and helped bridge Art Deco and more minimalist mid-century modernism looks. By adding just a few design details with some imagination you can still capture its spirit today in your kitchen, living room, bedroom or any room in your house!