Moderne

Moderne, also called Art Moderne or Streamline Moderne, saw popularity in the 1930s and early 1940s.  Restrained Moderne bridged the gap between the flamboyant Art Deco and the functional International Style of the 1940s and 1950s.  Common features include smooth stucco exteriors, rounded corners, and curved metal canopies, which gives the impression of a sleek and modern building.  Portholes, taken directly from the luxury liners of the time period, found their way onto buildings, most often applied to garages, bus terminals, and airports.

Construction slowed down significantly with the onset of World War II and the restrictions placed on various materials.  As Moderne faded, simple and stark buildings in the International Style emerged, reflecting the sparse times in which they were constructed.

Black and white photograph depicting a Moderne style house

A Denver example of the Moderne Style

Common elements:

  1. stucco exterior
  2. flat roof
  3. horizontal emphasis
  4. rounded corners
  5. smooth surfaces
  6. glass block
  7. speed lines
  8. little ornamentation
  9. curved metal hoods
  10. porthole openings