Streamline Moderne, sometimes termed Art Moderne, is a late type of the Art Deco architecture and graphic design/style that emerged in the 1930s. Its architectural style emphasized curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements. Moderne architecture includes other subtypes besides Art Moderne/Streamline, such as PWA Moderne.
The first streamline buildings evolved from the work of New Objectivity artists, a movement connected to the German Werkbund, that was initiated by Hermann Muthesius (see e.g. Mossehaus).
The oldest surviving example of Streamline design in the United States is the 1929 Lake Worth Playhouse, in Lake Worth, Florida.
As the Great Depression of the 1930s progressed, Americans saw a new aspect of Art Deco—i.e., streamlining, a concept first conceived by industrial designers who stripped Art Deco design of its ornament in favor of the aerodynamic pure-line concept of motion and speed developed from scientific thinking. Cylindrical forms and long horizontal windowing also may be influenced by constructivism. As a result, an array of designers quickly ultra-modernized and streamlined the designs of everyday objects. Manufacturers of clocks, radios, telephones, cars, furniture, and many other household appliances embraced the concept.
The style was the first to incorporate electric light into architectural structure. In the first-class dining room of the SS Normandie, fitted out 1933–35, twelve tall pillars of Lalique glass, and 38 columns lit from within illuminated the room. The Strand Palace Hotel foyer (1930), preserved from demolition by the Victoria and Albert Museum during 1969, was one of the first uses of internally lit architectural glass, and coincidentally was the first Moderne interior preserved in a museum.
The Streamline Moderne was both a reaction to Art Deco and a reflection of austere economic times; Sharp angles were replaced with simple, aerodynamic curves. Exotic woods and stone were replaced with concrete and glass.
Art Deco and Streamline Moderne were not necessarily opposites. Streamline Moderne buildings with a few Deco elements were not uncommon but the prime movers behind streamline design (Raymond Loewy, Walter Dorwin Teague, Gilbert Rohde, Norman Bel Geddes) all disliked Art Deco, seeing it as effete and falsely modern—essentially a fraud.
PWA Moderne was a related style in the United States of buildings completed between 1933 and 1944 as part of relief projects sponsored by the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
Common characteristics of Streamline Moderne and Art Moderne
Rounded edges, corner windows
Glass brick walls
Smooth exterior wall surfaces, usually stucco (smooth plaster finish)
Flat roof with coping
Also no roof at all, with no coping.
Horizontal grooves or lines in walls
Subdued colors: base colors were typically light earth tones, off-whites, or beiges; and trim colors were typically dark colors (or bright metals) to contrast from the light base
The Normandie Hotel, which opened during 1942, is built in the stylized shape of the ocean liner SS Normandie, and it includes the ship’s original sign. The Sterling Streamliner Diners were diners designed like streamlined trains.
Although Streamline Moderne houses are less common than streamline commercial buildings, residences do exist. The Lydecker House in Los Angeles, built by Howard Lydecker, is an example of Streamline Moderne design in residential architecture. In tract development, elements of the style were frequently used as a variation in postwar row housing in San Francisco’s Sunset District.
The style was applied to appliances such as electric clocks, sewing machines, small radio receivers and vacuum cleaners. Their manufacturing processes exploited developments in materials science including aluminium and bakelite. Compared to Europe, the United States in the 1930s had a stronger focus on design as a means to increase sales of consumer products. Streamlining was associated with prosperity and an exciting future. This hope resonated with the American middle class, the major market for consumer products. A wide range of goods from refrigerators to pencil sharpeners was produced in streamlined designs.
Streamlining became a widespread design practice for automobiles, railroad cars, buses, and other vehicles in the 1930s. Notable automobile examples include the 1934 Chrysler Airflow, the 1950 Nash Ambassador “Airflyte” sedan with its distinctive low fender lines, as well as Hudson’s postwar cars, such as the Commodore, that “were distinctive streamliners—ponderous, massive automobiles with a style all their own”.
Streamline style can be contrasted with functionalism, which was a leading design style in Europe at the same time. One reason for the simple designs in functionalism was to lower the production costs of the items, making them affordable to the large European working class. Streamlining and functionalism represent two very different schools in modernistic industrial design, but both reflecting the intended consumer.
In architecture and design
1923 Mossehaus, Berlin. Reconstruction by Erich Mendelsohn and Richard Neutra
1926: Long Beach Airport Main Terminal, Long Beach, California
1928: Lockheed Vega, designed by John Knudsen Northrop, a six-passenger, single-engine aircraft used by Amelia Earhart
1928–1930: Canada Permanent Trust Building, Toronto
1930: Strand Palace Hotel, London; foyer designed by Oliver Percy Bernard
1930: Maison de la radio, Place Flagey, Brussels, by Joseph Diongre
1930–1934: Broadway Mansions, Shanghai, designed by B. Flazer of Palmer and Turner
1931: The Eaton’s Seventh Floor in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, designed by Jacques Carlu, in the former Eaton’s department store
1931: Napier, New Zealand, rebuilt in Art Deco and Streamline Moderne styles after a major earthquake
1931–1933: Hamilton GO Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada by Alfred T. Fellheimer
1932: Edifício Columbus, São Paulo, Brazil (demolished 1971)
1933: Casa della Gioventù del Littorio, designed by Luigi Moretti, Rome
1933: Ty Kodak building in Quimper, France, designed by Olier Mordrel
1933: Southgate tube station, London
1933: Burnham Beeches in Sherbrooke, Victoria, Australia. Harry Norris architect
1933: Merle Norman Building, Santa Monica, California See also History of Santa Monica, California
1933: Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Morecambe, England
1933: Edificio Lapido, Montevideo, Uruguay
1933–1940: Interior of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, designed by Alfred Shaw
1934: Pioneer Zephyr, the first of Edward G. Budd’s streamlined stainless-steel locomotives
1934: Tatra 77, the first mass-market streamline automotive design
1934: Chrysler Airflow, the second mass-market streamline automotive design
1934: Hotel Shangri-La (Santa Monica), California
1934: Edifício Nicolau Schiesser, São Paulo, Brazil (demolished 2014)
1935: Jubilee Pool (Penzance, Cornwall), England
1935: Ford Building (San Diego, California), Balboa Park
1935: The De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England
1935: Pan Pacific Auditorium, Los Angeles
1935: Edificio Internacional de Capitalización, Mexico City, Mexico
1935: The Hindenburg, Zeppelin passenger accommodations
1935: The interior of Lansdowne House on Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London
1935: The Hamilton Hydro-Electric System Building, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
1935: MV Kalakala, the world’s first streamlined ferry
1935–1956: High Tower Court, Hollywood Heights, Los Angeles
1936: Lasipalatsi, in Helsinki, Finland, functionalist office building and now a cultural and media center
1936: Florin Court, on Charterhouse Square in London, built by Guy Morgan and Partners
1936: Campana Factory, historic factory in Batavia, Illinois.
1936: Edifício Guarani, São Paulo, Brazil
1937: Blytheville Greyhound Bus Station, Blytheville, Arkansas
1937: Regent Court, residential apartments on Bradfield Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield
1937: Malloch Building, residential apartments at 1360 Montgomery Street in San Francisco
1937: B and B Chemical Company, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, built by Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch & Abbott
1937: Belgium Pavilion, at the Exposition Internationale, Paris
1937: TAV Studios (Brenemen’s Restaurant), Hollywood
1937: Hecht Company Warehouse, Washington, D.C.
1937: Minerva (or Metro) Theatre and the Minerva Building, Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia
1937: Bather’s Building in the Aquatic Park Historic District, now the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Maritime Museum
1937: Barnum Hall (High School auditorium), Santa Monica, California
1937: J.W. Knapp Company Building (department store) Lansing, Michigan
1937: Wan Chai Market, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
1937: River Oaks Shopping Center, Houston
1937: Toronto Stock Exchange Building, mix of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne
1937: Pittsburgh Plate Glass Enamel Plant, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Alexander C. Eschweiler
1937: Old Greyhound Bus Station (Jackson, Mississippi)
1937: Gramercy Theatre, New York City
1938: Mark Keppel High School, Alhambra, California
1938: Normandie building, Mar del Plata
1938: Danum House, Doncaster, England
1938: 20th Century Limited, New York City
1938: Jones Dog & Cat Hospital, West Hollywood, California, by Wurdeman & Beckett (remodel of 1928 original construction)
1938: Greyhound Bus Depot (Columbia, South Carolina)
1939: Bartlesville High School, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
1939: Coca-Cola Building (Los Angeles), California
1939: First Church of Deliverance, Chicago, Illinois
1939: Marine Air Terminal, LaGuardia Airport, New York City
1939: Road Island Diner, Oakley, Utah
1939: Pennsylvania Railroad PRR S1 streamlined steam train, designed by Raymond Loewy
1939: New York World’s Fair
1939: Cardozo Hotel, Ocean Drive, South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
1939: Royer Building in Ephrata, Pennsylvania
1939: Daily Express Building, Manchester, England
1939: East Finchley tube station, London, England
1940: Gabel Kuro jukebox designed by Brooks Stevens
1940: Ann Arbor Bus Depot, Michigan
1940: Jai Alai Building, Taft Avenue Manila, Philippines (demolished 2000)
1940: Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, California
1940: Las Vegas Union Pacific Station, Las Vegas, Nevada
1941: Avalon Hotel, Ocean Drive, South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
1942: Normandie Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico
1942: Mercantile National Bank Building, Dallas
1942: Musick Memorial Radio Station, Auckland, New Zealand
1943: Edifício Trussardi in São Paulo, Brazil
1944: Huntridge Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada
1946: Gerry Building, Los Angeles, California
1946: Canada Dry Bottling Plant, Silver Spring, Maryland
1946: Broadway Theatre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
1947: Sears Building, Santa Monica, California
1948: Greyhound Bus Station, Cleveland
1949: Sault Memorial Gardens, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
1949: Varsity Theatre, Davis, California
1950: Ocean Terminal, Southampton, England (demolished 1983)
1951: Federal Reserve Bank Building, Seattle, Washington
1954: Poitiers Theater designed by Edouard Lardillier
1955: Iowa State Bank & Trust Building, Fairfield
1955: Eight Forty One (former Prudential Life Insurance Building), Jacksonville, Florida, designed by KBJ Architects
1957–2006: Star Ferry Pier, Central, Hong Kong (demolished)
1957: Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier, Hong Kong
1965: Hung Hom Ferry Pier, Hong Kong
1968–2014: Wan Chai Pier, Hong Kong (demolished)
In motion pictures
Aircraft and buildings in William Cameron Menzies’s 1936 movie Things to Come
The buildings in Frank Capra’s 1937 movie Lost Horizon, designed by Stephen Goosson
The design of the “Emerald City” in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz
The main character’s helmet and rocket pack in the 1991 movie The Rocketeer
The High Tower apartments, featured in the 1973 film The Long Goodbye and 1991 film Dead Again
The Malloch Apartment Building at 1360 Montgomery St, San Francisco that serves as apartment for Lauren Bacall’s character in Dark Passage
Source From Wikipedia