Reaction Paper

Topics: Georgian architecture, Colonial Revival architecture, Architectural style Pages: 5 (1498 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Art 100: Visual Dynamics

Fall 2013



Reaction Paper: The Unique Style of Georgian Architecture


One of the most popular architecture styles over many centuries has been the Georgian style. This style is one that is symmetrical and elegant in its details both interior exterior. This style keeps its features in both domestic and religious buildings. This style has remained consistent in its design and popularity since it originated in England. The Georgian style was first introduced in the colonial era and reflected the late Italian Renaissance architecture Andrea Palladio. Georgian architecture gets its name from the succession of English kings named Gorge starting in 1715. The style was cumulative of architectural fashion in Britain during the rule of the first three King Georges of England. Georgian architecture is a modification of the renaissance style through the 18th century in Europe. It was a balance of the Palladian style, which was known for its balanced facades, muted ornament, and minimal detailing. The style was simple, symmetrical, and solidity. The floor plans and details were constructed according to the English Georgian styles. Georgian houses were built so well that they would remain unchanged for 200 years after being constructed. This style is so pleasing too, that it is used extensively in colonial revival in the 20th century.

The Georgian era traces back in Great Britain’s history from 1714 to 1830 where it was the time when most of the Georgian structures were made. The prime rulers of this era were George I, George II, George III and George IV and all of them had a very ostentatious taste for architecture. Before them, British architecture was dominated by great architects like Sir John Vanbrugh, James Gibbs and Thomas Archer who basically followed the Baroque style. Although Georgian architects planned to rebuild existing towns and cities, the scope was very limited. So when England prospered in the late 17th and early 18th century, new towns were formed, providing an opportunity for framing new structures of Georgian architecture. As these towns flourished, the architects used to construct at least one fine Georgian church in each town, with their classical facades, tall steeples, spacious altars and transepts, gleaming white exteriors and many tall windows.

In the United States the style included innumerable variations of an English theme. The buildings were constructed symmetrically, two story house with center-entry façade, combined with the two room deep center passage floor plan. By the end of the 17th century, the upper classes in the colonies began to embrace the European concept of gentility. Early buildings in some areas of the United States reflect the architectural traditions of the colonial powers that controlled these regions. The architectural style of Louisiana is identified as French colonial, while the Spanish colonial style gives off the Renaissance and Baroque styles of Spain and Mexico; in the United States it is found in Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and California. These buildings typically included details including steep roofs, small casement leaded glass windows rich ornamentation and a massive central chimney. To maximize natural light in northern climes, early houses faced southeast, regardless of a building's alignment to the road. Conversely, in southern colonies, houses faced northwest to minimize the sun's heat. The architecture of Canadian buildings up to the start of the 20th century followed styles developed largely in France, Britain and the United States. Local adaptations resulted in what can be said to be Canadian architecture. Variations were due in part to restrictions posed by the availability of building skills, materials and technology; they were due also to attempts to relate buildings to their surroundings and to the occupants’ functional needs. Stone cottages in rural Ontario and...

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