Dec 30, 2008

Mumbai Art Deco Movement

The exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs 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.

Mumbai designers embraced this style wholeheartedly. In 1935 at architects meeting in the city hall it was decided to build new structures in Art Deco style. Marine Drive buildings are testament to this. Eros movie hall at Churchgate is also built in the Art Deco style.

Unfortunately, Mumbai has not kept with the tradition while maintaining or extending these beautiful structures. The most common offenders are floor extensions, balcony closures, drainage pipes on the exterior.

A new book Bombay Deco is now available that studies this movement in detail.