During my time in Melbourne I noticed a large number of Art-Deco style buildings as I wandered around the city. A little research revealed that although Australia was badly hit by the Great Depression of the 30’s, the centenary of the founding of the city, in 1934, led to a boom in construction and many of the buildings were in the Art Deco style. Architecture is often reflects national aspirations for independence and in Australia was a way of demonstrating the break with the colonial style and the modernity of the relatively new nation.
The Manchester Unity building, on Swanston Street, one of the main thoroughfares in the Central Business District, is frequently described as Art Deco, although it has many Gothic features.
Inside the arcade that passes through the ground floor of the building there is no mistaking the very Deco features
Next door but one to Manchester Unity Building is the gleaming white Century Building, built by the same architect as it’s neighbour, Marcus Barlow. I felt it was much more representative of Art Deco architecture.
I saw many other Deco buildins as I wandered through the streets and Lanes of the central Business District, many of them tucked away in narrow side streets, making it difficult to take a photograph. Here are some of them
There were Deco buildings all over the city. Here are some that I snapped when I wandered around the residential district to the east of the city centre, built in amongst the more traditional Victorian style houses.
This blog post by a Melbourne local discusses a number of Art Deco buildings in the Central Business District