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date: 18 January 2019


The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture

James Stevens Curl,

Susan Wilson


1. Architectural style (1920s and 1930s) incorporating decorative devices that owed not a little to Art-Deco, Aztec, and Ancient-Egyptian styles, prompted by the 1925 Paris Exhibition. Among commoner motifs were chevrons, canted and corbelled ‘arches’, medallions, wave-scrolls, flutings, mouldings stepped over surfaces, and geometrical patterns. Colours were vivid, influenced by artefacts discovered (1922) in Tutankhamun’s (r. c.1332–c.1323 bc) tomb, so blacks, vermilions, greens, yellows, blues, and lots of gilt and chrome were de rigueur, often in enamels and even glazed openings. Modernistic buildings (as they are often called) also incorporated streamlining and curved walls. A good example of Modernistic architecture is the former Hoover Building, Western Avenue, London (1931–8), by Wallis, Gilbert, & Partners.

2. Person subscribing to the doctrine and principles of the Modern Movement.


Benton et al. (eds) (2003); L & D (1986); Hitchmough (1992)