Between 1934 and 1942, the Art Deco movement heavily influenced architectural design. Australia contributed to this movement with hundreds of hotels built across Australia, both in major cities and outback towns. Photographer Geoffrey Goddard captures these buildings in stunning detail in his new coffee table book, Australian Art Deco Hotels.
Goddard’s book takes a look at the many Art Deco hotels, or public houses (pubs for short), that dot Australia. Over 320 photographs fill the book, giving light to Australia’s unique take on the Art Deco movement. Though many of these pubs have been demolished over the years, many still remain, thanks largely to their function in society.
They continue to be a place where the weary traveller can find a cheap place to stay, a cold beer to drink, and a hot meal to eat. The Art Deco design played nicely into the function of a pub. “The long front bar for example, of curved and horseshoe in shape, was designed so that hotels could accommodate as many drinkers as possible with access to the bar at any one time,” explains the book.
Goddard logged over 35,000 km in his quest to chronicle the story of these unique buildings—a quest that took more than 10 years to complete. Goddard travelled from downtown Sydney across the Nullarbor and everything between here and there. Not only does the book feature Goddard’s own photography, but it is also supplemented by archival images from the Australian National University’s Noel Butlin Archives, the Powerhouse Museum, and the State Library of New South Wales.
The photographs also come with informative and insightful essays that illustrate the importance of these edifices in terms of economic and social impact—both in the past and present. Regardless of your interests, this book is a piece of art that shares the beauty of a bygone era that still lives on today in its unique buildings.