Saturday 31 December 2016

Picture Post 59 - Art deco travels 2016

I was fortunate enough to visit several cities in 2016 and to get the chance to have a look at some of their art deco and modernist treasures. This post includes a small selection of the hundreds of buildings in the style that can be found in these cities. 

Hotel Rocher 81 at Jalan Basar 5, Singapore. Details unknown.
Detail of apartment block, Tiong Bahru Singapore, built in the 1930's and 40's.
I began my travels with a short trip to Rotterdam in February where despite the very very cold weather I was able to get out and have a look at some of the modernist structures that survived the Second World War before heading for the sunshine in Singapore, Australia and the Philippines. In Melbourne I caught up again with my good friends Robin Grow and Robyn Saalfeld from the Art Deco and Modernism Society who once again showed me some of Melbourne's many marvelous modernist buildings and who also advised me on what to see Sydney's Potts Point neighbourhood. Singapore's Tiong Bahru estate was another high point of the year with its clean, well cared for residential blocks whilst in the Philippines, I loved Manila's Metropolitan Theatre. A big thanks to my guide Joanna Altomonte-Abrera for getting me inside the theatre and giving me the chance to see how the restoration is progressing. I look forward to returning for the official re-opening!

Detail, Metropolitan Theatre, Manila. Completed 1931, designed byJuan Arellano.
Metro Cinema, Orwell Street, Sydney. Completed 1939, original architect  C. Bruce Dellit. 
I made return visits to Israel and Mexico where I revisited old favourites and found new treasures. My good friend Eduardo Trevino showed me some of the deco delights of the Colonia Roma in Mexico City and also managed to get us inside several of the apartment blocks so thanks to him too! Mexico City is a major location for art deco but it was also good to discover a few less well-known buildings in our favourite style in Puebla and even in Oaxaca. Regular readers will know that Tel-Aviv is my favourite city of all, partly due to its several thousand Bauhaus buildings but Jerusalem and Haifa also boast some beauties that keep drawing me back time and time again. Short trips to Paris and Venice included a visit to one of Le Corbusier's masterpieces in Poissy and the discovery of what must one of the world's most beautiful car parks not far from the Rialto Bridge.   

Shimon Levi House, Lavandah Street, Tel-Aviv. Completed 1935, designed by Arieh Cohen.
Staircase, Villa Savoye, Poissy. Built 1928-31, designed by Le Corbusier.
Minnervahuis, Meent. Rotterdam. Completed 1937, designed by Jan Buijs.
I have more travels planned for 2017, including visits to more cities with significant art deco and modernist buildings so look out for new posts. Thanks for following in 2016, enjoy the photographs and have a very happy new year! 

The Kraajiveld House, Rotterdam. Built 1938, designed by G.W. Baas.
Garage Communal, Piazzale Romana, Venice. Built 1933, designed by Eugenio Mozzi.
Art deco apartment block, Puebla, Mexico. Details unknown.
Teatro Orfeo, Luis Moya, Mexico City. Completed 1938, designed by Drew and John Eberson.
Former Oreh Cinema, Herzl Street, Haifa. Built 1935-7, designed by Oskar Kaufmann.

Sun Theatre, Yarraville, Melbourne. Built 1938, designed by Cowper, Murphy and Appleford.