The Most Brilliant & Stunning Examples of Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco architecture is a captivating and influential design style that emerged in the early 20th century. As an expert in the field, I am thrilled to delve into the fascinating world of Art Deco and explore its distinctive characteristics, history, and enduring appeal. From the sleek lines and geometric shapes to the lavish ornamentation, Art Deco buildings continue to captivate and inspire architects, designers, and enthusiasts alike. Join me as we embark on a journey to uncover the allure and significance of Art Deco architecture.

In this article, I will examine the origins and evolution of Art Deco architecture, shedding light on the cultural and historical context that gave rise to this iconic style. From its beginnings in the 1920s to its peak popularity in the 1930s, Art Deco architecture left an indelible mark on cities around the world. I’ll discuss how this architectural movement drew inspiration from various sources, including ancient civilizations, technology, and the machine age.

Characteristics of Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco architecture is known for its distinct characteristics that set it apart from other design styles. In this section, I’ll explore the key elements that define Art Deco architecture, including its use of geometric shapes and clean lines, the utilisation of new materials, and the incorporation of elaborate ornamentation.

Geometric Shapes and Clean Lines

One of the defining features of Art Deco architecture is its emphasis on geometric shapes and clean lines. Inspired by the modernist movement, Art Deco architects embraced simplicity and clarity in their designs. Buildings were often characterized by bold, symmetrical forms, such as stepped facades, zigzag patterns, and geometric motifs. These geometric shapes created a sense of balance and order, while also reflecting the technological advancements of the time.

Use of New Materials

Art Deco architecture embraced the use of new materials that were being developed during the early 20th century. This included materials such as glass, steel, and concrete. These innovative materials allowed architects to create structures that were lighter, more flexible, and aesthetically pleasing. Glass was particularly favored and often used to create large windows, glazed facades, and intricate glasswork. The use of these new materials not only added a touch of modernity to the buildings but also allowed for increased functionality and improved structural integrity.


While Art Deco architecture embraced simplicity and clean lines, it did not shy away from ornamentation. Ornate details, such as stylized floral motifs, intricate carvings, and decorative elements, were often incorporated into the design. However, these decorations were executed in a streamlined and stylized manner to maintain the overall modern aesthetic. The ornamentation in Art Deco architecture was not excessive or overly intricate but rather used strategically to add elegance and visual interest to the buildings.

Art Deco in Interior Design

When it comes to the world of interior design, Art Deco is a style that still commands attention and admiration today. Art Deco architecture has not only influenced the design of buildings, but it has also made a significant impact on the way we approach creating stunning interiors. In this section, I’ll delve into the key elements of Art Deco in interior design, including furniture design, lighting, and textiles.

Furniture Design

Art Deco furniture design is characterised by its sleek lines, geometric shapes, and luxurious materials. During the Art Deco era, furniture designers embraced the use of new materials like chrome, glass, and mirrored surfaces, which added a glamorous touch to their creations.

The iconic “sunburst” motif is a hallmark of Art Deco furniture, often seen in mirrors, sideboards, and cocktail cabinets. This motif represents the optimism and energy associated with the style. Other common features include the use of exotic woods, such as mahogany and ebony, and the incorporation of bold, contrasting colours.

Art Deco furniture designers also paid careful attention to functionality. They embraced the concept of streamlined design, creating pieces that were not only visually stunning but also practical for everyday use. This emphasis on functionality is what sets Art Deco furniture apart from other decorative styles of the period.


Lighting played a crucial role in Art Deco interior design, adding drama and sophistication to the space. Art Deco lighting fixtures are characterised by their geometric shapes, often incorporating stepped or angular designs. Materials such as glass, chrome, and brass were frequently used to create luminous and reflective surfaces.

One of the most iconic Art Deco lighting designs is the “skyscraper” style, inspired by the soaring buildings of the period. These elongated fixtures with a tiered or stepped design imitate the sleek lines and verticality of Art Deco skyscrapers.

In addition to fixed lighting fixtures, Art Deco interiors also embraced the use of table lamps and floor lamps to create ambient lighting. These lamps often featured sculptural bases adorned with motifs such as female figures, animals, or abstract shapes, showcasing the decorative elements that were central to the Art Deco movement.