A Guide to Architectural Styles
GOTHIC REVIVAL (1850-1900)
Based on a revival of medieval architecture, Gothic Revival was one of the most enduring architectural styles of nineteenth century Canada. The style is associated with domestic as well as public buildings and is characterized by pointed arches and steeply pitched roofs that are often highlighted with intricate mouldings and heavy bargeboards.
SECOND EMPIRE (1880-1890)
The Second Empire style takes its name from the French Second Empire and the reign of Napoleon III (1852-1870). The style's most distinguishing feature is a mansard roof, the steep lower section of which is normally interrupted with dormers. Doors and windows are often round-headed and grouped in pairs. Decorative detailing can include brackets under the eaves and quoins at the corners.
This style, associated primarily with two or three storey, rectangular (almost square) residential structures, was loosely modeled on the Renaissance domestic architecture of Rome and Florence. The style was brought to Manitoba by early settlers from Ontario where it was popular at the time of migration. Distinguishing features include round and segmented arch windows that are frequently arranged in pairs; long verandahs; and very low pitched roofs with extended eaves that are supported by ornate brackets.
QUEEN ANNE REVIVAL (1880-1910)
The word eclectic perhaps best describes this style that incorporates architectural elements borrowed from several different periods. Roof lines tend to be very irregular, broken by turrets, decorative chimneys, dormers, gabled and multi-gabled roofs, and long, sweeping verandahs. Exterior walls are commonly covered with a variety of different materials, including brick, wood shingles of different shapes, stucco, and, at times, stone. Round, oval, along with rectangular windows of many sizes can often be found on the same house. Window treatment frequently includeds the use of stained or coloured glass.
EASTLAKE (1880 – 1900)
Most Eastlake buildings would be classified as Queen Anne were it not for the distinct type of ornamentation that consists of numerous porch posts, railings, and balusters turned on a lathe. The style also features large curved brackets, scroll and chisel work, and other elaborate decorative elements located at gable ends, pediments, and anywhere else it can be placed. The style is named after Charles Locke Eastlake (1833-1906), an English interior designer and architectural critic.
SHINGLE STYLE (1880-1900)
The Shingle Style originated in New England and is associated with imposing, two or three storey, asymmetrical residential structures. The roof and walls are covered with unpainted wood shingles. Large, sweeping roof areas tend to flow into one another, sometimes extending across several stories.
PRAIRIE STYLE (1905-1925)
The Prairie Style, or School, evolved around the turn of the century in the work of Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959). The style emphasizes horizontal lines, low proportions, gently sloping roofs and very wide overhangs and eaves. Elements of the Arts and Crafts movement can often be seen in the detailing. The Prairie Style is most commonly associated with houses but it was occasionally used for commercial and industrial buildings also.
GEORGIAN REVIVAL (1905-1930)
Compared to the eclectic and buoyant styles of the late nineteenth century, Georgian Revival is conservative. A typical Georgian Revival structure is rectangular in plan and symmetrical in arrangement. Design elements include a hipped or sometimes rectangular roof, eaves are associated with a classical cornice, and a palladian window frequently provides the focal point for the front facing facade. The style is usually associated with houses, smaller offices, and apartment buildings.
The word bungalow can be traced to the Bengali term bangala which is the typical one-storey native dwelling found in British Bengal. The style came to North America in the early twentieth century and was closely associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. The typical bungalow is a one or one and a half storey-high structure with a low-pitched gable roof that extends out to incorporate the front porch. Eaves are broad and left open underneath thereby exposing rafters, ridge poles, and purlins. Roof brackets are standard, while porch roofs are often supported by over- sized piers. Exterior finish materials are usually wood shingles, textured brick, or stucco. Chimneys are sometimes massive.
The International style is characterized by flat roofs, smooth and uniform wall surfaces and large horizontal expanses of casement windows set flush with the plane of the wall. Vertical supporting pillars provide relief. Right angles are highlighted throughout. Overall, the International style emphasizes the use of modern materials suggesting the machine age aesthetic and the concept that form should follow function.
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