Style Moderne was an international style of Art Deco styling and architecture which emerged during the 1930s in Italy. It was influenced by aerodynamic design and straight, sharp lines. Streamline architecture focused on curved forms, long straight lines, and occasionally nautical themes. This style was very popular throughout Europe and throughout the world. The streamlined proportions and geometric designs were primarily a result of the constraints of space, although these elements were used successfully in other areas of architecture.
Streamline was an important development because it provided a streamlined form with artistic design, resulting in a stylized impression. Streamlined architecture incorporated geometric forms with straight lines. These decorative elements blended together to form a clean, geometric pattern. Streamline Art Deco architectural styles employed straight, geometrical lines in most cases, but used varying geometric shapes, including trapezoids, ovals, rectangles, and circles. Aesthetically, streamlined art style elements included rounded corners, heavy use of contrasting colors, and light use of single colors.
The influence of the Style Moderne style was not limited to the architectural industry. Streamlined Art Deco interior design styles also enjoyed popularity in literature and cinema. A notable feature of this type of architectural style is the prevalence of rounded forms and heavy geometric detail. For example, the famous blue and white tile motif seen in Italian lakes district hotels and palaces, and which is common in Streamline architecture, found its way into the designs of many novelists, directors, and photographers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.
Streamlined architecture may seem less flexible than some of the other art style periods, but it was actually ahead of its time. Streamlined buildings, for example, were among the first to employ glass-walled walls, rather than plaster. Glass-walled walls are much easier to clean and maintain than plaster walls, which can begin to chip or decay after only a short period of use. Streamlined buildings also frequently feature flat roofs, which have a tendency to lend them a less rigid appearance than do flat roofs that curve toward the building. In fact, Streamlined style elements such as curved lines and smooth surfaces are actually perceived as more relaxing and airy than their more rigid counterparts.
Streamlined architecture can be considered an evolution of the Roaring days, when architects were experimenting with new decorative elements and artistic techniques. It is a type of “Minimalist” design, in which the artistic goal is to make the most of the smallest available space. Streamlined buildings, as they are commonly called today, are often characterized by their bare, unadorned, geometric lines. Although some Streamlines are very basic, most Streamlines are characterized by a sense of geometric flow. Also, as with other art style periods, streamline styles often reflect historical events and social conditions, thus lending their decorative elements a significant cultural context.
The influence of the Classical style (which was influenced by ancient Greek and Roman civil and architectural structures) on the Streamlined style can be observed in the way that certain Streamlines have a sense of cubic symmetry, which was a major deviation from the Classical style. Streamlines can be considered to have achieved their popularity during the late Victorian era, when their decorative motifs and geometric tiling were combined with the popularity of architecture of the time. Other designers who dabble in streamline building styles include Frank Lloyd Wright, who are widely recognized for his remodeling projects, and Thomas Moran, a Scottish builder who was one of the first to use the term Decorative Architecture. Moran is said to have introduced the term Decorative to describe his own style. Frank Lloyd Wright is another proponent of the Streamlined style, which he worked on as a designer for the urbane London buildings of the Victorian age.