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Art Deco style architecture flourished in the 1920s and 1930s, with the Paris Exhibition of 1925 fueling the movement. The strongest influences were Cubism and Ancient Egypt, after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

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Art Deco 1 2

55 Broadway

Once the tallest office building in London, this was built as the headquarters for the London Electric Railway Company (LER) – now London Underground. Jacob Epstein had to modify one of his sculptures (Day and Night) after the male nudity caused outrage.

55 Broadway SW1
Tube: St James’s Park

Florin Court

Opened in 1936, the undulating exterior of this apartment block is familiar as the home of TV detective Hercules Poirot. A roof garden and Art Deco-style swimming pool in the basement make up for the fact it has some of the smallest flats in London. 

Charterhouse Square EC1
Tube: Farringdon

Daily Express

The reflective black Vitrolite, glass and chrome exterior hides a wonderfully ornate interior by Robert Atkinson. Architect Sir Owen Williams,  more of an engineer, designed the M1, Britain’s first motorway, and the Gravelly Hill Interchange (Spaghetti Junction).

Fleet Street EC4
Tube: Blackfriars

Daily Telegraph

Another 1930 neo-classical building, by Elcock, Sutcliffe & Tait, the Egyptian-style columns and ornate clock are the only real nods to Art Deco. The printing presses in the basement rocked Fleet Street when they were in action but the offices are now used by quieter neighbours: Goldman Sachs International.

135-141 Fleet Street EC4
Tube: Blackfriars

The Spitfire Works

Built for the Palmer Tyre Co and used to make aircraft parts during WWII, this building was restored by architect Terry Farrell and now houses his offices. Check out the very different Penfold Street side – once a furniture factory, now a set of apartments.

Hatton Street NW8
Tube: St John’s Wood

Eltham Palace

This Art Deco house was built for the Courtaulds in the 1930s, an unexpected sight beside the Great Hall of the medieval palace, built for Edward IV in the 1470s and childhood home of Henry VIII. Now run by English Heritage and open four days a week.

off Court Road SE9
Rail: Eltham/Mottingham
www.elthampalace.org.uk

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