Topic: Construction Materials
Language Skills: Word Formation
BUILDING STYLES AND MATERIALS
Houses and public buildings in Britain and the US have been built in a range of styles and materials. Old and new stand side by side. In Britain there are timber-framed houses, buildings of brick or stone, and modern concrete and glass structures. Many US architectural styles came originally from Europe. The South-west has many buildings in the Spanish colonial or mission style. The federal style borrowed elements from ancient Rome, and the facades and columns of Greek revival buildings are reminiscent of Greek temples.
In Britain most houses before the Norman Conquest had a timber frame filled with wattle and daub, sicks plastered together with mud. The development of more sophisticated timber-framed houses became possible when brick and stone were used as infilling betweent the framework to be more open and decorative. Many Tudor and Elizabethan timber-framed houses, in which the wooden beams are visible from the outside, still stand. Glass was expensive, so only the rich could afford windows. In the 1980s there was a fashion for modern houses with wooden features in the Tudor style. In pre-Columbian North America people used local timber to build houses, and settlers arriving from Europe copied them. Later, in New England especially, the heavy wooden framework of a house was covered with horizontal planking called clapboarding. Clapboard houses sometimes have a wood shingle (=tile) roof and brick chimneys. Inside the house the wood frame may be exposed. In the South plantation houses had wide verandhas supported on columns. Wood has been used in church architecture for carved screens, elaborate roof supports, and sometimes for steeples.
In Britain, early structures like Stonehenge were built of massive blocks of stone. Later, stone was used to build city walls and castles. From the...
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