Decorative tiles and stone from the Art Deco Era

I photographed, during my last architectural tour in  Gara de Nord area, a few interesting examples of decorative ceramic tiles and stone embellishing exterior and interior areas of Art Deco style buildings from the 1930s. Those elements are quite rare sights nowadays, as the usually aggressive renovations and damages sustained through wars or earthquakes in the intervening eight decades have erased them in great proportion from the architectural landscape of the city.

Decorative tiles from the Art Deco era, apartment block from Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Above is a wall base decorated with high quality black and white bands of ceramic tiles, which I documented in an earlier post, speculating that it represents an architectural metaphor of the tuxedo suit and spectaor/ wingtip shoes so popular in the jazz age.

Decorative stone from the Art Deco era, apartment block from Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The image above and the three following bellow are from the entrance hall of a mid-1930s apartment block, where the designer used good quality decorative stone, from marble to various colours and textures of calcareous rock such as lime and travertine, combining them with great visual effect.

Decorative stone from the Art Deco era, apartment block from Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Decorative stone from the Art Deco era, apartment block from Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Decorative stone from the Art Deco era, entrance hall pavement of an apartment block from Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Decorative tiles from the Art Deco era, apartment block from Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The above and bellow photographs present the ceramic tile floor of a modest apartment block from the early 1930s. The tiles are of very good quality, being in excellent shape after so many years of intensive wear; of hexagonal shape, arranged in a plain three colour floral “mosaic” pattern, which reminds quite poignantly the atmosphere of the inter-war period.

Decorative tiles from the Art Deco era, apartment block from Gara de Nord area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

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