Georgian Architecture


A grand & elaborate example of high-style Georgian architecture (highly influenced by Palladian features) is Drayton Hall, near Charleston, South Carolina.

Georgian Architecture is the name given to the fashion that most houses were built in during the reign of George I, the II, the III and the IV. This was primarily between 1714 and 1830, so it covers a considerable period. This is longer than most of the other architectural periods.

Georgian architecture is characterized by its proportion and balance; simple mathematical ratios were used to determine the height of a window in relation to its width or the shape of a room as a double cube.

“Regular” was a term of approval, implying symmetry and adherence to classical rules: the lack of symmetry, where Georgian additions were added to earlier structures, was deeply felt as a flaw. Regularity of housefronts along a street was a desirable feature of Georgian town planning. Georgian designs usually lay within the Classical orders of architecture and employed a decorative vocabulary derived from ancient Rome or Greece.

Some Georgian architecture can be further divided into particular sub-categories; this is due to the individual creativity of well-known period architects:

Palladian Architecture

Palladian Architecture is heavily influenced by the Italian architecture of the 16th century. It is characterized by the exceptionally grand-looking features such as high porticos with roman style pillars. Buckingham Palace was refaced in this style in 1913.

French Provincial Architecture

This home features a host of architectural elements typical of the French Provincial style.

This home features a host of architectural elements typical of the French Provincial style.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of many French buildings is the tall second story windows, often arched at the top, that break through the cornice and rise above the eaves.

Modelled after country manors in the French provinces, these brick or stucco homes are stately and formal. They have steep hipped roofs and a square, symmetrical shape with windows balanced on each side of the entrance. The tall second story windows add to the sense of height Sided with stone, stucco, or brick, these homes may suggest the Tudor style with decorative half timbering (vertical, horizontal, and diagonal strips of wood set in masonry).

The French Normandy style is distinguished by a round stone tower topped by a cone-shaped roof. The tower is usually placed near the centre, serving as the entrance to the home. French Normandy and French provincial details are often combined to create a style simply called French Country or French Rural carved or embossed on mouldings, sconces, and banisters.

The interior decor uses a palette of muted hues with colour subtly injected through soft furnishings and the cabinets.

Spanish Design

Example of Spanish Colonial Revival

Spanish House designs encompass Spanish Colonial Revival style, Spanish Moorish style, and even the California Mission style. Spanish style homes feature red-tile roofs, stucco walls, and patios.

Spanish Colonial Revival houses tend to have thick walls to create cool interiors that make them well suited to warm climates. Smooth white plaster wall surfaces contrast with heavy wrought-iron ornamentation around windows and doors, distinctively carved and shaped columns, and patterned tile or ceramic floor and stairway treatments bring touches of Andalusia and other parts of Old Spain — as well as Mexico.

Spanish floor plans tend to have an asymmetrical front with small, irregularly placed windows and heavy, rounded doors with decorative carving. Santa Barbara architect George Washington Smith was one of the most influential early practitioners of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, which became popular after it was used for major buildings at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Diego of 1915.