Monday, 15 March 2010

Sunday in the City - The glory that is art-deco (1)

Art-deco derived its name from the Exposition des Arts Deorators et Industrials Modernes, held in Paris in 1925. The style symbolised a new mechanical streamlined age, utilizing new materials such as steel and plastic. Art-deco motifs were particularly favoured for the interiors and exteriors of distinctly Twentieth Century buildings such as the cinema, the skyscraper and the pub.

Sydney has a large collection of Art-deco inspired buildings from the late 20s to the early 50s. With a guide from the 20th Century Society of NSW, I became acquainted with some.


This is the fenestration of the City Mutual Insurance Building on the corner of Hunter and Philip Street. Designed by Emil Sodersten it was completed in the second half of the '30s. It is clad in Hawkesbury sandstone above a polished granite base. It has unusual zig-zag windows which are hinged around a tall central tower and designed to allow as much light as possible into the building and reduce the heat load.

The foyer is now the home of Neil Perry's Rockpool.

A member of the Sunday in my City community.

29 comments:

byron said...

An awesome building, thanks for capturing it. I like how you only share a piece of the building in the photo.. sort of like digital wallpaper.

Birdman said...

Wow! Amazing image... almost like an optical illusion.

Frau said...

Really cool building....have a wonderful Sunday!

altadenahiker said...

Unique. Reminds me of the paper fans we'd make as kids. I love the windows.

brattcat said...

love, love, love how the windows bend the image of the buildings across the way.

Jørgen Carlsen said...

I like to look at your superb photos...
By the way: I have given you an award! Please stop by my blog (http://dagensfotos.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-award.html) to receive it. Warm greetings to you for your inspiration.

James said...

Wow! You really fill the frame in a great way.

Sonya said...

WOW! that is seriously one of the neatest buildings I have ever seen! I love it.

Serge Cornillet said...

How many windows there!!! The repetition works well with this one.
Bye Julie.
Serge

J Bar said...

Terrific way to photograph this building. The sculpture behind 1 Oxford Street in my post today is further down at Whitlam Square, diagonally across from Hyde Park.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Bill said...

I like this facade. What a good idea to zig-zag the windows to reduce the amount of sun on them without compromising light.

MsBabyPlan said...

Nice photo!

AIRIA ART and PHOTOGRAPHY said...

http://affamilycabral.blogspot.com/
I love that building.I love the windows. Happy sunday. thanks for sharing in SIMC

Joan Elizabeth said...

Art Deco always gets me. This one is beautifully presented to show of the buildings unique qualities ... and getting that tree in the corner is perfect for breaking it up a little ... you'll be taking over from Pete on architectural shots if you keep this up.

ymk said...

Wow. Such interesting architecture.

Ann said...

The reflections completely change the shape of the windows. Well spotted. This is another building I've seen but never noticed.

Apols for not responding the last couple of days, I've been in Katoomba at the music festival. To answer your questions - the momo shot was manipulated in Elements using one of the filters, I think chalk and charcoal but its heavily manipulated.

Been meaning to ask - did you ever get into the uni course?

Prairiemaid said...

Love the according look of the building.

Woody said...

This is a great photo of a beautiful design. It must have been very difficult to build.

Marka said...

I like the patterns of and reflections in the windows.

michael bird said...

Lovely and most interesting, Julie. Don't remember ever seeing anything like this - and it's been around since the 30's. Impressive. (Appreciate your visits and commentary!)

Unknown Mami said...

I love the angle of this photo; it really shows off those windows.

Bruce Caspersonn said...

A window cleaner's nightmare.

Coffeeveggie addict. said...

fantastic!just wonder how they clean it as bruce said its a cleaner's nightmare lol!

a great week to you!


blue

Peter said...

never noticed it - must rush down

Cat said...

I guess every office is a corner office- that's such a visually arresting building.

Katie said...

Wow, that's a very interesting building! This makes me want to go on a building-hunt to see what we have around here! :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow! You have a great eye! That's a fabulous shot.

Thanks for sharing your city. Hope your week is going good.
jj

Ali - Scituate Daily Photo said...

Oh, what a gorgeous shot! Well captured!

Marla said...

Amazing