Photo Credit: Binyan

New Developments Give Art Deco a Modern-Day Spin

May 20, 2021 | By: LX Collection

No aesthetic marries opulence with streamlined, modernist detail quite like Art Deco. And the movement that flourished more than once in the previous century is proving its staying power yet again. 

Interior view of 40 East End Ave residence south longue in NYC. Has green chairs, grand staircase and chandelier centerpiece. Photo Credit: Binyan

A slew of newly developed properties from coast to coast are bringing the signature characteristics of Style Moderne to ever-inventive spaces while taking inspiration from surrounding neighborhoods. One of the most striking examples of Art Deco is the Upper East Side condominium 40 East End Avenue, the architectural brainchild of Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, designed by Deborah Berke Partners. 

“Our inspiration came from various precedents on East End Avenue and Upper Manhattan,” says Stephen Brockman, partner at Deborah Berke Partners. “Like those we studied from the early 20th century, the character of our 21st century building should be expressed through the selection and detailing of materials.” 

Those materials can be seen in the curvatures of the sculptural marble staircase, which is cast in bronze, the chevron floors and corrugated walls of the interiors, show-stopping glass light fixtures, and the stylized charcoal-brick pattern and casement windows of the facade. 

“We wanted the character of 40 East End—and the interiors—to feel grounded in time and place,” Brockman says. 

Nearby at The Kent, a new condominium by Beyer Blinder Belle, the geometric crown serves as a prominent modern marker while nodding to New York City’s original high-rises. The pairing of traditional materials—limestone, brick, and metal—with contemporary detailing adds a harmonious balance to the surrounding classics on Park and Fifth Avenues. The effects can be felt the moment one enters the rosewood-paneled lobby and adjacent drawing room, designed by Champalimaud Design and replete with gold leaf ceilings, antique mirrors, custom chandeliers, and a marble-topped bar. 

At NoMad’s Rose Hill, the architecture firm CetraRuddy designed the condominium inside and out with modernized Jazz Age elements, installing bronze-finished fireplace screens and conical brass pendants for Rockefeller Group, which developed New York’s original Art Deco masterpiece: Rockefeller Center. In the model residences and the colorful common areas, including The Blue Room, the lobby bar named for its cobalt hue, gilded splashes in paintings and upholstery nod to Deco. 

In Miami, the renewed popularity of vibrant colors and pastel hues fuse with modern shapes, creating a contemporary riff on Art Deco that manages to avoid being overly retro. At Missoni Baia, OKO Group’s minimalist luxury building designed by Hani Rashid of Asymptote Architecture with interiors by Paris Forino Interior Design, white marble floors and columns mingle with bold, patterned installations, sherbet colors, and glass sculptures that recall their 1920s predecessors. 

The Grove at Grand Bay, one of the most unmistakable Art Deco structures in Miami, embodies the heavy geometrics and strong, linear contours of the New Classics. In the spirit of one-of-a-kind architectural impressions that would have been right at home a century ago, Terra Group and Bjarke Ingels of BIG Architects incorporated 20 floors of glass block windows and curvilinear tiers into each of the two twisting towers. 

Now more than ever, developers are referencing original local landscapes, as they continue to find new ways to modernize elements of the Deco movement. In Los Angeles, Mirabel Wilshire Boulevard, the forthcoming project from Walter N. Marks Inc., with Richard Keating of Keating Architecture, envisions a 42-story luxury high-rise. Set to break ground in 2023, the design will speak to the surrounding masterpieces of the Miracle Mile district. Built to encompass the existing Sontag Drug Building, a Deco landmark, and echoing the streamlined contours of the iconic Desmond nearby, the Mirabel will embrace a contemporary era of livable luxury.