Georgian Architecture: The Colonial Architecture
Georgian architecture came to rise in the 1700s and was in existence till the 1830s. This style has a major focus on symmetry, balance, and proportion. It belongs to a particular time period and drew great inspiration from Gothic and Roman Architecture.
Georgian Architecture in America vs England:
The Georgian architecture style associates with the Colonial period, with its origin from England. It soon traveled to other parts of the world, especially the British Colonies. As the name suggests it was during the reign of King George in Great Britain and later became popular in America.
The designers created a pattern book showing the details to be carved in the building elements, for the builders to understand.
Georgian architecture in America came with the introduction of pattern books made by the Britishers. It evolved as the first architect-inspired Architectural style in America.
In America, all the buildings built under this era fall under Georgian Architecture, irrespective of the style. Whereas in England, only the Buildings built with this style fall under this category.
Georgian Architecture Features:
- Georgian style of architecture started the trend of elegant terraces, crescents, squares, and town houses.
- Buildings of this style also highlighted the importance of order, hierarchy, and perfection. They drew great inspiration from architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.
- Buildings made in this style were lavish and include some remarkable town houses and country homes.
- Georgian architecture is very simple and has touch of lightness even after using the complex principles of ancient buildings.
- The use of materials in Georgian homes was different for different places. Like, Northern states used wood whereas in South, stone and stucco were in practice but brick was the main material everywhere.
- The roofs in this style are generally hipped, with dormers.
Georgian Architecture House:
Most of the buildings built under this style are either private houses or government homes. Most of the houses built in this style feature huge sites with beautiful gardens. The features of a typical Georgian architecture house are very different from other architectural styles. Let’s have a look at some of the key Georgian architecture characteristics:
- A classical Georgian home is very simple in geometry, generally square or rectangular in shape.
- The entrances are usually grand, with pediments, arches, and columns.
- Georgian architecture houses are usually made with brick. Symmetry is the most important feature of these homes.
- Large houses have symmetrical wings on either side of a central axis.
- Georgian houses are typically two and a half storey, with a detailed entrance focused with a pediment.
- The Georgian houses have same windows on both the floors with an additional window on second floor above the main entrance.
- Metal railings are another notable feature of this style.
- Also, these homes have decorative landscape, which is another beautiful Georgian architecture feature.
- The interiors of these houses have high ceiling, crown mouldings, and window headers.
- Doors, windows, and mouldings feature minutely detailed joinery, plaster shapes, and various other details.
Best examples from Georgian Architecture Style:
Major building types built in this style were schools, houses, and courthouses. Some of the most famous ones are:
10 downing street, London, England
The classical example of Georgian architecture is the official residence for Great Britain’s prime minister and belongs to British Government headquarters.
The building has a courtyard at the rear side and is known to be the most iconic terraced house. It also features some great features from the Georgian style of architecture such as the semi-circular fanlight and lantern holder above the door. The building is guarded by cast-iron railings with detailing of molded leaves and flower heads, which are prominent in Georgian buildings..
The building is made with black brick and white windows contrast them perfectly. It is one of the most popular buildings made in Georgian architecture style.
Houghton Hall, Norfolk, England
The country house surrounded by parkland is the key building in this Architectural era. The building, built as the house for the first Prime Minister of the Country showcases perfect symmetry which is one of the main Georgian architecture characteristics. The exterior is so grand and seen in the fine-grained silver-white stone. There are two towers in its corners with domes. The interior of this house is more decorative and colorful than the exteriors. The building is also termed as one of the finest houses in England.
The Circus, Bath, Somerset, England
The bath is one of the unique creations in Urban Planning under Georgian Architecture. The Circus is one of the most attractive tourist structures in this well-designed urban area. The building forms a circle, dividing it into three segments, and has three entrances. It covers an area of 100 meters in diameter. Each segment faces one of the entrances and gives a classical facade look. The streetscape is so elegant with a central circular landscape. The building facade features yellow limestone.
Connecticut Hall, Yale University, Connecticut, United States
This Georgian-style building is part of the Yale University Campus. The building changed its purpose with time and has been through many additions. The building facade also featured colors with the changing trends; from red to cream to drab and again back to red. Moreover, the building initially had a gambrel roof. However, a gabled roof replaced it later to match with the rest of the newly built campus buildings. Connecticut is the oldest building on this campus and the only building to still stand from the 18th century.
St. Andrews Church, Chennai, India
St. Andrews Church is one of the finest Church buildings in Asia inspired by St. Martin in the fields.
The Church’s beauty is enhanced with the lovely stucco material, whereas the pillars and walls are decorated with grapes nestled in leaves. The central part of the church is in a circular shape, topped by a dome with rectangular wings on two sides. The stained glass window above the altar is one f the most magnificent features of the church.
The Georgian architecture buildings are easily identifiable with its notable design elements. It is a very simple and balanced architectural style yet it looks so elegant.
Georgian architecture has been through transformations under the reign of four kings and has given us some of the best architectural buildings in a century.