British reactions

British reactions

Pavillon des Renseignements et du Tourisme|

‘Pavillon des Renseignements et du Tourisme’
‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes’, Paris 1925
Designer: Robert Mallet-Stevens  
Artist: Egrez
Copyright: RIBA Library Books and Periodicals Collection 


Reactions in the British specialised press were generally positive. Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith, of the British official delegation, stated that “as a display of originality and modern aspiration… there can be no doubt that a triumphant success has been achieved”. In his article for the ‘Architectural Review’ Hubert de Cronin Hastings compared the event favourably to the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley of the same year, in spite of some reservations on specific aspects of the exhibition or criticism of specific buildings. However in a later issue of the same year Vernon Blake remarked “Unquestionably every Englishman who visits the pavilions and stands of the modern French ensembliers will ask himself whether he would care to live among such impeccable surroundings from which cosiness is markedly absent… our Englishman, mindful of fireside joys, of capacious easy chairs, will, perhaps, admire, then turn aside and leave such artificialities to the exhibition and to France”. French Art Deco had indeed very limited impact on British architecture of the following years, finding more fertile soil in the United States. An interesting exception is the tower for the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938 designed by Thomas Tait which undoubtedly shows the influence of Robert Mallet-Stevens' ‘Pavillon du Tourisme’ of 1925. Mallet-Stevens' designs in fact moved beyond the highly decorative style of some of his colleagues and showed clear Modernist leanings.

 
 
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