ART DECO CHRYSLER BUILDING (1928-30), NEW YORKThe Chrysler Building was designed by architect William Van Alen for a project of Walter P. Chrysler.
• Art Deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s and into the World War II era.• The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts such as painting, graphic arts and film.• The exposition Internationale des ArtsDecoratifs et Industriels Modernes(Industrial and Decorative art exhibition) in 1925 in Paris kicked off the worldwide Art Deco movement. This was a huge break for the past design styles and it mimics machine age. Adopted for buildings, the Art Deco architecture included flat roofs, flowing forms, geometric patterns. It employed glass, steel, and concrete.• At its best, art deco represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity.• Art decos linear symmetry was a distinct departure from the flowing asymmetrical organic curves of its predecessor style art nouveau.• It embraced influences from many different styles of the early twentieth century, including neoclassical, constructivism, cubism, modernism and futurism and drew inspiration from ancient Egyptian and Aztec forms.• Although many design movements have political or philosophical beginnings or intentions, art deco was purely decorative
Influences• Art Deco also used Machine Age and streamline technologies such as modern aviation, electric lighting, radio, ocean liners and skyscrapers for inspiration.• The structure of Art Deco is based on mathematical geometric shapes.• Art-deco design influences were expressed in the crystalline and faceted forms of decorative Cubism and Futurism. Other popular themes of Art Deco were trapezoidal, zigzagged, geometric, and jumbled shapes, which can be seen in many early works. Two great examples of these themes and styles are in Detroit, Michigan: The Fisher Building and The Guardian Building.
Materials and design• Art Deco is characterized by use of materials such as aluminium, stainless steel, lacquer, Bakelite, Chrome and inlaid wood.• Exotic materials such as sharkskin (shagreen), and zebra skin were also evident.• The use of stepped forms and geometric curves (unlike the sinuous, natural curves of Art Nouveau), chevron patterns, ziggurat-shapes, fountains, and the sunburst motif are typical of Art Deco.• Some of these motifs were universal – for example, sunburst motifs were used in such varied contexts as womens shoes, radiator grilles, radio and clock faces, the auditorium of the Radio City Music Hall, and the spire of the Chrysler Building.
Site plan: Chrysler building, New York• The Chrysler Building is considered a leading example of Art Deco architecture.• The building is constructed of masonry, with a steel frame, and metal cladding.• Standing at 1,047 feet (319 m) tall, the tower was briefly the world’s tallest building, holding the crown for just 11 months before the Empire State Building in 1931
Crown ornamentation• The Chrysler Building is also renowned and recognized for its terraced crown.• Composed of seven radiating terraced arches, Van Alens design of the crown is a cruciform groin vault constructed into seven concentric members with transitioning setbacks, mounted up one behind another.• The stainless-steel cladding is ribbed and riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern with many triangular vaulted windows, transitioning into smaller segments of the seven narrow setbacks of the facade of the terraced crown.
• Gargoyles and eagles ornamented the building.• It glorified the automobile industry with its frieze of brick and steel cars, eagles, and gargoyles.
The lobby has mural that covers the entire ceiling as a tribute to the age in which itwas created, it is filled with Deco triangles, sharp angles, slightly curved lines, chromedetailing, and a multitude of patterns.• The gorgeous walls of the lobby are made with a very expensive African marble.
Lighting• The lighting in the lobby is fairly sparse and dim, even though the fixtures were powerful and iconic. This lighting enhances the mural and the ornamentation. - Khevna N. Shah_30