Tag Archives: Art Deco architecture

Paris Wanderlust: Art Deco

Art Deco

I didn’t go to Paris seeking out Art Deco buildings, whose style spanned about 30 years (1910 to 1939). But as I wandered around the 15th arrondissement, they kept popping up — including Art Deco churches, which weren’t on my radar at all.


Église St Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1910)

9 rue du Docteur Roux (15e)

Église St-Antoine-de-Padoue (1933)

52 Boulevard Lefebvre (15e)

Hotels and apartment buildings

Ernest Billecocq, 66 Rue Falguière (1914)

Below: A 1914 apartment building whose brickwork resonates with Art Deco. The rounded shape of the building also foreshadows the Art Deco “ocean liner style” (Fr. Style paquebot) of the 1920s, a streamlined form borrowed from the shape of luxury transatlantic liners.

Architect: Ernest Billecocq, 66 Rue Falguière (1914) (15e)

Charles Lefebvre, building on Boulevard de Strasbourg (1914)

Below: 1914 Art Deco-inspired reinforced concrete office building. Lefebvre’s design features ceramic cladding and polychrome mosaics.

Architect: Charles Lefebvre; ceramic cladding by Alphonse Gentil and Eugène Bourdet. 19 Boulevard de Strasbourg (1914) (10e)

Lutèce Hotel (1928)

5 Rue de Langeac (15e)

3 Rue Boussingault (1935)


1 Rue Nicolas Houël (1932)

1 Rue Nicolas Houël (5e)


Le Berry (1930s)

The Art Deco-style little theatre Le Berry was built during the 1930s. The photograph below was taken in the mid-90s, when it was in disrepair and threatened with demolition. Some young Parisians that I had met were circulating a petition to save the building. They were horrified at the prospect of a McDonald’s replacing it — a real possibility at the time.

I’m happy to learn that Le Berry is back in business, with a spiffed-up facade.

61-63 Boulevard de Belleville (11e)

Métro entrance


A few architectural details

Animal bas-reliefs on Rue Pasquier (1929)

Across the street from the Chapel Expiatoire is this whimsical building with panel friezes of finely carved animals: camel, elephant, alligator, shark among coral:

34 Rue Pasquier (1929) (8e)

Rue Brancion


Next: Brick Play

Camille Martin

Paris Wanderlust: Brick Play

Brick Play

One of the most appealing architectural features in Paris is the creative use of polychrome brickwork on facades. The colourful patterns can be complex and eye-catching.

14 Rue du Parc de Montsouris (1920) (14e)

The geometric patterns of the brickwork provide an ideal medium for Art Deco style, as in this 1914 apartment building in the paquebot style:

Architect: Ernest Billecocq, 66 Rue Falguière (1914) (15e)

Such brickwork is nothing new. It appears in various places in Europe during Medieval, Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance times. Modern polychrome brickwork made a strong comeback in the second half of the 19th century.

The building below recalls 17th-century Place des Vosges, with its masonry of red brick and contrasting white stone quoins.

Architect: Gabriel Ruprich-Robert (1859-1953), L’Institut Catholique de Paris & Musée Edouard Branly, 21 Rue d’Assas (1894-1897) (6e)

However, the fancy brickwork beneath the windows places the building closer to late 19th century.

Floral City, a quiet island of homes of two to three storeys, has made an art of using brick patterns to create visual interest along the facades.

17 Rue des Volubilis, Cité Florale (1914) (13e)
23 Rue des Orchidées, Cité Florale (1900) (13e)

Brick play from the 21st century:

97 Rue Vaugirard (2001) (6e)

Next: Islands of Urban Tranquility — Cottages & Row Houses

Camille Martin