Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized the American home when he began to design “Prairie” style houses with low horizontal lines and open interior spaces.
Frank Lloyd Wright believed that rooms in Victorian era homes were boxed-in and confining. He began to design houses with low horizontal lines and open interior spaces. Rooms were often divided by leaded glass panels. Furniture was either built-in or specially designed. These homes were called prairie style after Wright’s 1901
Historic mission churches built by Spanish colonists inspired the turn-of-the-century house style known as Mission, Spanish Mission, or California Mission.
Celebrating the architecture of Hispanic settlers, Mission Revival style houses usually have arched dormers and roof parapets. Some resemble old Spanish mission churches with bell towers and elaborate arches.
The earliest Mission style homes were built in California, USA. The style spread eastward, but most Spanish Mission homes are
With roots in the pastoral Cotswold region of England, the picturesque Cotswold Cottage style may remind you of a cozy storybook house.
Other names for the Cotswold Cottage style: Storybook Style, Hansel and Gretel Cottage, Tudor Cottage, English Country Cottage, Ann Hathaway Cottage.
The small, fanciful Cotswold Cottage is a popular subtype of the Tudor Revival house style. This quaint English country
Heavy chimneys and decorative half-timbering give Tudor style houses a Medieval flavor. The Tudor style is sometimes called Medieval Revival.
The name Tudor suggests that these houses were built in the 1500s, during the Tudor Dynasty in England. But of course, Tudor houses in the United States are modern-day re-inventions and are more accurately called Tudor Revival or Medieval Revival. Some Tudor Revival houses mimic humble Medieval cottages
Combining classical Greek and Roman architecture with Renaissance ideas, Beaux Arts was a favored style for grand public buildings and opulent mansions.
The Beaux Arts (French for “fine art”) style originated in the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Many American architects studied at this legendary architectural school, where they learned about the aesthetic principles of classical design and brought them to the United States.
Also known as Beaux Arts Classicism, Academic
Neoclassical, or “new” classical, architecture describes buildings that are inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.
The word Neoclassical is often used to describe an architectural style, but Neoclassicism is not actually any one distinct style. Neoclassicism is a trend, or approach to design, that can describe several very different styles.
Expressing American patriotism and a return to classical architectural styles, Colonial Revival became a standard style in the 20th century.
Colonial Revival became a popular American house style after it appeared at the 1876 the US Centennial Exposition. Reflecting American patriotism and a desire for simplicity, the Colonial Revival house style remained popular until the mid-1950′s. Between World War I and II, Colonial Revival was the most popular historic revival house style in the
Rustic Shingle Style houses shunned Victorian fussiness.
Shingle Style houses can take on many forms. Some have tall turrets, suggestive of Queen Anne architecture. Some have gambrel roofs, Palladian windows, and other Colonial Revival details. Some Shingle houses have features borrowed from Tudor, Gothic and Stick styles. But, unlike those styles, Shingle architecture is relaxed and informal. Shingle houses do not have the lavish decorations that were popular during the Victorian
Richardsonian Romanesque, or Romanesque Revival, houses have broad Roman arches and massive stone walls.
During the 1870s, Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson captured the American imagination with rugged, forceful buildings like Allegheny Courthouse in Pittsburgh and Trinity Church in Boston. These buildings were called “Romanesque” because they had wide, rounded arches like buildings in ancient Rome. Henry Hobson Richardson became so famous for his Romanesque designs that the
Fanciful Victorian houses lavished with Eastlake style spindlework.
A colorful Victorian style with lacy, ornamental details is called Eastlake. The ornamental style is named after the famous English designer, Charles Eastlake, who was famous for making furniture decorated with fancy spindles.
Eastlake details can be found on a variety of Victorian house styles. Some of the more fanciful Stick Style Victorians have Eastlake buttons and knobs combined with
America’s fanciful Queen Anne architecture takes on many shapes.
The romantic style known as Queen Anne became an architectural fashion in the USA during the 1880s and 1890s, when the industrial revolution brought new technologies. Builders began to use mass-produced pre-cut architectural trim to create fanciful and sometimes flamboyant houses.
Not all Queen Anne houses are lavishly decorated, however. Some builders showed restraint in their use of embellishments. Still, the flashy
Plain folk could afford these simple North American homes.
Life was simple before the age of railroads. In the vast, remote stretches of North America, families built no-fuss, square or L-shaped houses in the National or Folk style. But the rise of industrialization made it easier and more affordable to add decorative details to otherwise simple homes. Decorative architectural trim could be mass produced. As the railroads expanded, factory-made building parts could be sent to far corners of the
Long and narrow, shotgun houses are made to fit small city building lots.
Shotgun houses have been built since the time of the Civil War. The economical style became popular in many southern towns, especially New Orleans.
There are a few theories why these houses were called Shotgun:
If you fire a shotgun through the front door, the bullets will fly straight out through the back door.
Some shotgun houses were constructed from packing crates that once held shotgun shells.
Stick Style Victorian houses have exposed trusses, “stickwork,” and other details borrowed from medieval times.
The most important features of Stick Style houses are on the exterior wall surfaces, which are ornamented with “stickwork,” or decorative half-timbering. The house also has brackets, rafters, and braces. These details are not necessary structurally. They are decorations that imitated architecture from the medieval past. Instead of three-dimensional
With tall mansard roofs and wrought iron cresting, Second Empire homes create a sense of height.
Second Empire buildings with tall mansard roofs were modeled after the the opulent architecture of Paris during the reign of Napoleon III. French architects used the term horror vacui – the fear of unadorned surfaces – to describe the highly ornamented Second Empire style. Second Empire buildings were also practical: their height allowed for additional living space on narrow city
A fascination for the architecture of Renaissance Europe and the villas of Andrea Palladio inspired elegant Renaissance Revival homes.
Renaissance (French for “rebirth”) refers to the artistic, architectural, and literary movement in Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries. The Renaissance Revival style is based on the architecture of 16th-century Renaissance Italy and France, with additional elements borrowed from Ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Renaissance Revival is a
Italianate became the most popular housing style in Victorian America. Italianate is also known as the Tuscan, the Lombard, or simply, the bracketed style.
The Italianate style began in England with the picturesque movement of the 1840s. For the previous 200 years, English homes tended to be formal and classical in style. With the picturesque, movement, however, builders began to design fanciful recreations of Italian Renaissance villas. When the Italianate style moved to the United States, it
Builders borrowed church-like details to construct affordable wooden versions of the Gothic Revival style.
The earliest Gothic Revival homes were constructed of stone and brick. The Gothic Revival style imitated the great cathedrals and castles of Europe. However, few people could afford to build grand masonry homes in the Gothic Revival style. In the United States, The ready availability of lumber and factory-made architectural trim lead to a distinctly American version of Gothic Revival.
Medieval cathedrals inspired impressive homes made of stone.
Gothic Revival was a Victorian style that borrowed details from Gothic cathedrals and other medieval architecture. Gothic Revival homes in England were most frequently constructed of masonry. In the United States, some large, lavish estates were also made with stone or brick. These homes often resembled medieval churches or castles.
Few people could afford to build a masonry home in the Gothic Revival or High Gothic revival
With details reminiscent of the Parthenon, stately, pillared Greek Revival homes reflect a passion for antiquity.
In the mid-19th century, many prosperous Americans believed that ancient Greece represented the spirit of democracy. Interest in British styles had waned during the bitter War of 1812. Also, many Americans sympathized with Greece’s own struggles for independence in the 1820s.
Greek Revival architecture began with public buildings in Philadelphia. Many European-trained
Graceful details distinguish Federal homes from the pragmatic Georgian colonial style.
Like much of America’s architecture, the Federal (or Federalist) style has its roots in the British Isles. Two Scottish brothers named Adam adapted the pragmatic Georgian style, adding swags, garlands, urns, and other delicate details. In the American colonies, homes and public buildings also took on graceful airs. Inspired by the work of the Adam brothers and also by the great temples of ancient Greece
Spacious and comfortable, Georgian Colonial architecture reflected the rising ambition of a new country.
Georgian Colonial became the rave in New England and the Southern colonies during the 1700′s. Stately and symmetrical, these homes imitated the larger, more elaborate Georgian homes which were being built in England. But the origin of the style goes back much farther. During the reign of King George I in the early 1700′s, and King George III later in the century, Britons drew
The Cape Cod style originated in colonial New England. Today, the term refers to Cape Cod-shaped houses popular during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.
The first Cape Cod style homes were built by English colonists who came to America in the late 17th century. They modeled their homes after the half-timbered houses of England, but adapted the style to the stormy New England weather. Over the course of a few generations, a modest, one- to one-and-a-half-story house with wooden shutters
Architecture is considered a visual art like painting and sculpture. Architects design buildings using a creative process by which they manipulate art elements to create a unified and pleasing artistic statement. The difference between a painting and architecture is that a building has a function and must be designed with safety in mind.
When architects start working on a project, they prepare quick sketches that suggest areas of function dictated by the client. Next, architects use a process of design to draw and refine the form of
What distinguishes Architecture from all other forms of art is its working with a three-dimensional vocabulary. Architecture is like a great hollowed-out sculpture which humans enter and apprehend by moving about within it.
In designing a building, the architect submits plans, elevations, and cross-sections; in other words, he represents the architectural volume by breaking it down into the vertical and horizontal planes which enclose and divide it. This has reality only on paper and is justified only by the necessity of measuring the
Buildings are a product of their surroundings. Setting can greatly affect the design of a building. All building sites present considerable constraints and challenges. For instance the challenge of contending with the historic significance of buildings in an area will affect the overall design.
Architects look at all elements that affect a setting, such as size, scale, and local ordinances, and ask ‘how do we deal with that?’ In understanding all the elements that go into a project for a specific setting architects and their
Architectural styles classify architecture in terms of form, techniques, materials, time period, region, etc. It emerges from the study of the evolution and history of architecture. It is a way of classifying architecture that gives emphasis to characteristic features of design, leading to a terminology such as Gothic “style”. Gothic architecture, for example, would include all aspects of the cultural context that went into the design and construction of these structures.
Architectural styles make up an important part of
The purpose of architecture is to shelter and enhance man’s life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.
Its original purpose was to lessen the risk that nature brought upon humanity, protecting us against the cold, the heat, storms and predators alike.
Over time, architecture became a means of facilitation, representation and communication of cultural identity rather than simply protective devices for humans.
More recently, architecture has entered into the realm of speculation where
Architects value using good design in buildings to create the right identity for its owners. Creating a strong identity helps convey a certain lifestyle and provide a visual point of reference to those arriving at a building and those who inhabit it.
A good design conveys an image that, if done correctly, will support and reinforce the intended owner’s identity. The right Architectural style, materials, and overall design will inspire the right emotions, such as confidence, comfort, and a sense of well being.
Architecture may express human values, feelings and dynamic states. We derive meaning from a building based upon our perceptions of the sensory, formal and technical properties and from our own experiences. When these elements of design are combined, they give expression to a work of art that can be explained using the language of human emotion.
We learn to identify how the architect used the aesthetic elements to give the design an expression. Expressive Elements are those that give a structure the appearance of having a mood,