Block Court Arcade, one of Melbs first Art Deco interiors

The #BlockCourtArcade was created in 1930 through the ground level of an 1890 building in #CollinsStreet, and originally opened through to the #BlockArcade via a removed shop. It was perfectly intact in the 1980s, then the back half was turned into a single shop, removing shopfronts and covering the floor and ceiling (!) – then a couple of years ago that area become a walk-thru #BankofMelbourne, uncovering the floor and ceiling (yay!) and using partly reinstated shopfronts as counters, very odd. The Bank also occupies the left side, with Camper on the other, so where there were 11 shops is now 2.

#BlockCourtArcade, #HarryNorris, 1930, where the architecture is actually more exciting that the shops. Described as ‘modernistic’ in Oct 1930, and ‘embodying the latest ideas from America and the Continent’, it’s what we now call Art Deco, which had started in Paris in 1925, and taken up with gusto in the US by the late 20s. This would have been so different to anything else in Melb at the time, except for the interiors of Coles Bourke Street, which had opened in March, also by Norris.

The fantastically elaborate #ArtDeco #plasterwork of the #BlockCourtArcade, #HarryNorris, 1930. The shopfronts are set slightly forward to conceal uplights that illuminate it so nicely. I do like the gold, but originally it was silver with highlights in ‘old ivory and blue’

The intricate #terrazzo floor of the #BlockCourtArcade, #HarryNorris, 1930. Most peculiar, not exactly your typical Art Deco motifs.

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