Art Deco vs. Functionalism

Dozens of Art Deco masterpieces line the Miami Beach Ocean Drive. Color palette ranges from different shades of pastel to turquoise ocean. Yet the scene somehow feels very familiar for a Finn.Why is this?

For a short moment Art Deco dominated architecture and design. The era peaked on 1939 at the New York Fair. The great depression and later world war rationalized design and Art Deco become the synonyme for Kitsch. Despite the short glory the influence of Art Deco can be seen in modern design and in scandinavian functionalism. The best known functionalist Alvar Aalto visited Miami Beach in 30’s and Art Deco influence can be seen in his designs. Helsinki has few Alvar Aalto buildings, but the best examples of functionalism are Tilkka and Helsinki Olympic Stadium tower. It could be summed up that functionalism is stripped down Art Deco.

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