8 Influential Art Deco Skyscrapers by Ralph Thomas Walker

The Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building (now the Verizon Building) in New York. Image © Flickr user Wally Gobetz

No architect played a greater role in shaping the twentieth century Manhattan skyline than , winner of the 1957 AIA Centennial Gold Medal and a man once dubbed “Architect of the Century” by the New York Times. [1] But a late-career ethics scandal involving allegations of stolen contracts by a member of his firm precipitated his retreat from the architecture establishment and his descent into relative obscurity. Only recently has his prolific career been popularly reexamined, spurred by a new monograph and a high-profile exhibit of his work at the eponymous Walker Tower in New York in 2012.

Through the Lens: Art Deco’s debt to Agatha Christie

Screenshot from “Evil Under the Sun.” Image Courtesy of Carnival films, LWT & Picture Partnership Productions

This article comes courtesy of Charlotte Neilson, the author of the fascinating design blog Casting ArchitectureHer column, , will look at architecture and production design in TV and

The categorisation of period architecture generally remains firmly in the realm of the professional or amateur enthusiast – let’s face it, you can go through life without knowing the difference between a Corinthian and Ionic column without too much inconvenience. Oddly, however, most people are able to name a few of the main features of Art Deco architecture fairly easily – the curved corners, stylised forms, the use of bakelite and chrome, the transport motifs.

It’s interesting that this period is so much more familiar to us, considering it spanned quite a short timeframe compared to other architectural styles; the Arts and Crafts and Art Noveau movements, for example, which both occurred in a similar time frame to Art Deco, are much less known to the wider community. 

It’s possible of course that Art Deco is just more omnipresent because of its universal appeal, or its uniqueness, but I think most of the credit should go to Monsieur Hercule Poirot.

Learn more about Agatha Christie’s contribution to Art Deco, after the break…

Miami: America’s Next Great Architectural City?

Coconut Grove Condo / BIG; Image via DesignBoom

Miami, Florida is booming with new architectural projects by big names: everything from new condominums by BIG,to the new Miami Beach Convention Center. So why are so many big projects migrating to Miami Beach? The city is turning itself into an American and center.

Join us after the break for more.

Fundraiser: Modernism London Style / Niels Lehmann

Modernism Style: Battersea Power Station, (1935) © Niels Lehmann

Like no other style, Art Deco represents a built manifestation of the interwar period’s enthusiasm and splendor. In London, buildings of this era reflect the elegance, progress and assertiveness that describe the modern metropolis age. Even today, these buildings have lost none of their aura and appeal, yet they lack any proper documentation.

Together, Niels Lehmann and Christoph Rauhut have worked tirelessly for the past three years researching and photographing London’s architectural Art Deco heritage. With your help, they will feature over 230 buildings with large-scaled photographs in the soon-to-be published “Modernism London Style.” Follow this link to become a supporter and learn more.

Continue after the break to view more photos.

Gotham City’s Architecture Portrayed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Skyline, Photo by esherman - http://www.flickr.com/photos/esher27/

Director Christopher Nolan is preparing to shoot his third and final Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which promises to bring the events of its blockbuster predecessors full circle. The filmmaker will experience new ground with the conclusion to his trilogy by shooting a portion of the film in Pittsburgh, .

Shooting locations for Nolan’s Batman installments are shot all over the world, in places such as, India, Iceland, Romania, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, City, Chicago, and now Pittsburgh. Each location offers unique elements of architecture to create the look and feel of Gotham City and Batman’s world. More information after the break.