Walking Melbourne

Functionalist/Moderne

Achieving a refreshingly sleek style in the 30s and 40s, the moderne style broke away from the ornamental art-deco style. Unlike many art-deco buildings which focussed on a vertical emphasis, moderne buildings often features horizontal emphasis, with spandrels kept to a minimum, and often recessed.

The moderne style often combined horizontally sweeping curves with square based geometrical lines. Corbusian strip windows were often used, achieving an earlier modern style. The style was the predecessor to the Modern style of the 50s, and the Internationalist style of the 60s and 70s.

It was the preferred style of choice for hospitals, industrial buildings, beachside resorts and apartments, educational facilities and other buildings whose use was heavily technology dependant.

The Moderne style was used sparingly in office buildings, suprisingly the style was used in many Melbourne offices, often experimentally. As a result, Melbourne has quite an excellent collection of city buildings in this vein. The best examples in Melbourne are Mitchell House (Elizabeth Street) and the McPherson Building on Collins Street.



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