This paper presents the theoretical assumptions and design praxis concerning colour schemes used in the multi-threaded Moderne, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco styles, which were used in Germany during the interwar period to design commercial facilities. We based our analysis on selected cases of department stores built in the years 1927–1930 in Berlin and Wrocław (Breslau at the time). Streamline Moderne and Art Deco, which was present in Germany alongside Expressionism, operated using a simple spatial structure that followed the precepts formulated by the Bauhaus: it featured rhythmically divided, disciplined facades clad in ceramics, sandstone or travertine, as well as large storefront windows with brass frames. These Modernist compositions were enriched with ceramic or brass cornices and friezes, overhangs and full-figure sculptures that were often gilded. The buildings’ interiors, designed following the principles of efficiency and functionality, had spatially accentuated and colour-marked entrance zones and grand, glazed courtyards that were given an expressive décor via ceramics, stone or exotic wood. The expression of these compositions was underscored by linear illumination and cascade-like chandeliers that formed light sculptures. In our paper, we also presented problems associated with the contemporary revitalisation and reconstruction of such buildings. We specifically focused on research findings that identified original ceramics production technologies and methods that allowed the recreation of the texture and colour of the facade of the A. Wertheim department store in Wrocław.
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