Hey guys. 🙂 I am back again with another interesting article on our rich architectural history. In this article, I will talk about Georgian Architecture. In one of my previous articles, I talked about Baroque Architecture , that dealt with the beauty of architecture in the Baroque period.
So, in this article, you will get to know following things:
- Introduction on Georgian Architecture.
- Types Of Buildings.
- Colonial Georgian architecture.
- Post-Georgian architecture.
- Examples of Georgian Buildings.
So, now, let’s get started with our tour into the amazing world of Georgian architecture.
Georgian architecture is the name given to the set of architectural styles between 1714 and 1830. This style was rejuvenated in the late 19th century in the United States as Colonial Revival architecture. In the 20th century, Great Britain, it was known as Neo-Georgian architecture but, in both 19th and 20th century, it was also known as Georgian Revival architecture.
In Britain, the term “Georgian” is referred to buildings that are architectural and have stylistic characteristics which reassemble that particular period.
The Georgian style variates. It is marked by its symmetry and proportion based on the classical architecture of Rome and Greece. Ornamentation is also done in the traditional pattern and sometimes absent on the exteriors.
With time, the classical building style got changed to smaller and more modest buildings. This brought in the entry of a new informal style, which got applied on almost every new middle-class homes and public buildings by the end of the period.
Georgian architecture is distinguished by its balance and proportion, and pure mathematical ratios. The regularity of housefronts along a street was the most wanted feature of Georgian town planning.
Georgian Era was divided into early, mid and late phases. Georgian buildings were known for their simplicity, power, prestige and most importantly, stability.
The proportion was the key reflection in Georgian Architecture. The houses of that period followed strict rules regarding size and position of doors and windows, roof pitches, etc.
Following are some of the characteristics of Georgian Architecture:
- Windows- the most commonly used windows were Sash windows. They had more panes of glass. Panels of glass changed from six over six to even two over two as, larger panels started being made.
- Symmetry was the utmost characteristic.
- The facade were uncluttered and elegant.
- Front doors were well paneled and painted.
- Many features from Roman architecture were their like: Classical motifs, columns, etc.
- Roofs- had broad overhangs and empty pitches on Palladian-style homes.
- With growing industrialisation and mass-production requirements, smaller homes with smaller windows and bricks came in trend.
- Regency design which was named after George IV, the prince Regent, led to built up of more cottages and ornamentation styles, in the end of the Georgian era. Homes had fancier detailing and the windows were taller and narrower.
- Terrace was compulsory for every house even if you had a square of garden in front of your house.
3) Styles of Georgian Architecture
Architects and their Styles
Till 1720’s, Georgian was ahead of English Baroque. An Architect named James Gibbs came like a transitional force. His early buildings depicted glimpses from Rome, but after 1720’s his style changed.
Other significant architects who promoted change from baroque to Georgian side were Colen Campbell, Richard Boyle and his protege William Kent, Issac Ware, Henry Flitcroft and the Venetian Giacomo Leoni. Best example of this time is (Stowe House by William Kent, Palladian architecture)
Then there were other prominent architects too. That includes James Paine, Robert Taylor, and John Wood, the elder. Hanover Square intentionally adopted German stylistic elements like vertical bands connecting the windows.
There were styles, those resulted in a fall within some categories. The main were both Palladian architecture and its alternatives, i.e., Gothic and Chinoiserie which were equivalent to European Rococo.
From mid-1760’s, the great new Regency style was adopted. There was a range of Neoclassical modes which were fashionable and associated with the British architects Robert Adams, James Gibbs, etc. There was a phase in between, during 1750, when Greek Revival architecture was added. But, later it got popularity after 1800.
In Britain, bricks and stones are unchangeable where the brick was mostly concealed with stucco. In America and other colonies, wood was commonly used as it was more favorable. Roofs were generally covered in earthenware tiles. Later, Slate got introduced by Richard Pennant in 1760’s which became a common material by the end of the century.
What makes Georgian Architecture(Style) so popular?
These days, people look for homes which reflect Georgian Principals. Large and tall windows, letting in full light, elegance, and simplicity of design. From inside, tall ceiling height and open space.
Such a style is popular because it’s cheap to build in comparison with ornate styles. Georgian homes tend to be boxy in shape and therefore they have fewer edges, nooks, valleys, and ridges.
The houses can vary from two to three storeys. They may be with deep and symmetrical rooms, both internally and externally. The houses had terraces which are compulsory these days too. There were no porches in the front, and the door was directly connected straight to the road. The doors often had fanlights above them, which led the light to reach the hallway. Earlier, the windows were usually small and six paneled and ran upwards towards the height of the property.
The most popular type is the tiled and hipped roof(sloping upwards from all sides of the building). These had cornices( the horizontal moulded projection which finishes a building or wall).It also had a decorative moulding known as “dentilwork”. The roof was often not visible due to parapet walls. The chimneys were located and paired on both sides of the house, which located the fireplace of the house.
Some of these features, we still see in today’s time. Now, I hope you understood, that what makes Georgian architecture popular. So, let’s move on to our next point.
4) Types of buildings
- Styles of revived Palladian architecture, dominated English country house architecture.
- Houses were being placed on greener landscaped areas.
- Large houses were made wide and relatively shallow. This looked really impressive from a distance.
- Height was kept highest at the center.
- In grand houses, there use to be an entrance hall which led to a mezzanine floor where the main reception rooms were placed.
- Basement area also known as “rustic” was typical. It included kitchens, offices and service areas.
- There was another thing which was typical. A single block with a small court for carriages at the front marked off by railings and a gate.
- Windows were large and tall. They were placed on a grid(this was to reduce the window tax). Some windows use to be bricked in. They were tall and started with a waist length. These windows were known as Sash windows, already developed in 1670’s. Corridor planning also started becoming universal.
- Inside courtyards became rare. The roof was hardly visible from the ground, but domes gave a sneak peek.
- Columns, often known as pilasters were topped by a pediment. They were popular for ornamentation inside and out. Other ornamentations were in geometrical shapes or plant-based. Human figures were not seen.
- Plasterwork ceilings, bold schemes of wall paint and carved wood were seen.
- Later, smaller houses were constructed like vicarages which were simple, regular blocks with roofs which were visible.
- The late Georgian period gave birth to the semi-detached houses which were systematical. Compromise between the terrace houses of the city and detached villas.
- Till 1818, before the Church building Act, there were very fewer churches.
- At the end of the period, there was a growth seen in the Non-conformist and Roman Catholic places.
- The early churches called Anglican churches were designed to allow maximum audibility and visibility.
- The main nave was wider and shorter, and sometimes there were no side-aisles.
- The galleries were common in the new churches.
- The external features retained some features of a Gothic church. A tower or spire, a large west front with one or many doors, large windows and doors along the nave.
- Decoration was kept very less from inside, but the churches led to prosperity.
- British Non-conformist churches often were in classical mood, and they projected that there is no need of any tower or steeple.
- Building of Commissioner’s churches got a hike in the 1820’s and continued till the 1850’s.
- The early churches, reflected a deep shadow of the Gothic Revival buildings along with the ones which were classically inspired.
iii. Public Buildings
- Varied between plain boxes with grid windows and Italian Renaissance palaces, depending on the budget.
- Example: Somerset House in London by Sir William Chambers in 1776, designed for government offices.
- Barracks and other lesser reputable buildings could be as functional as the mills and factories that were growing by the end of the period.
- At the end of the period, many designs were growing to become “intentionally architectural.”
5) Colonial Georgian architecture
American buildings of the Georgian architecture were generally constructed of wood with clapboards. Even, the columns were made of timber, turned on and framed up on a bigger lathe.
At the start of the period, there were difficulties in obtaining and transporting bricks and stones. This made them a common alternative in bigger cities or where they were available easily. Examples: Dartmouth College, College of William and Mary and Harvard University are the leading names of Georgian Architecture in America.
Georgian styles got adapted by both upper and middle classes. This style replaces the baroque style which was mostly used in churches and British colonies. Example: Hammond-Harwood House in Maryland which was designed by the colonial architect William Buckland.
After Independence, American colonies, Federal-style architecture showcased the similarity of the Regency architecture.
6) Post Georgian Architecture
This part of the article mainly deals with post-Georgian developments. After 1840, the style was slowly abandoned. Many new styles originated during this period. Those included: Gothic Revival, Neoclassical architecture.
The renewed Georgian style that emerged in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century is referred to as Neo-Georgian. The works of this style were commonly seen in Britain until the late 1950’s.
Example: Bradshaw Gass and Hope’s Police Headquarters, Salford of 1958.
Some architects, still imply Georgian styles for private residences.
7) Examples of Georgian Buildings(Georgian Architecture)
- Cronkhill, Shropshire
- Assembly Rooms, York
- Marble Hill, Twickenham
- Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
- No. 13, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London
- St. Michael’s Church, Great Witley, Worcestershire
- Bedford Square, London
So, guys, this was the tour into the beautiful world of Georgian Architecture. I hope, you liked this information. Our history is the best and what is more exciting, than to know about the place where you might even live, right? 😉 If you liked this information, then do subscribe to my Blog and comment below to let me know your views.
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