COMMON ARCHITECTURAL STYLES AND THEIR DISTINGUISHING FEATURES



COMMON ARCHITECTURAL STYLES AND THEIR DISTINGUISHING FEATURES



And
Glossary of Common Architectural Terms.
"[Architecture] is a sort of language in which one's power of expression depends on the skilful employment of a basic grammar of elements..."
K. Crossman, 1987

Wood was the dominant medium of construction in 19th- and early 20th-century Antigonish, Nova Scotia. However, it should be noted that not all buildings were designed in a single historical style. Although the basic front-gabled style of classical revival was pervasive in 19th-century Antigonish, many buildings incorporated features selectively and often blended different styles. Eclecticism, exemplified by a mixture of various stylistic forms within the same building, was a typical characteristic of 19th-century architecture. [For guidelines on researching masonry construction (brick and stone) and Nova Scotia buildings see Looking at Masonry].




Quick List of Styles:
| Neo-Classical | Maritime Vernacular | Classic and Greek Revival | Gothic Revival | Italianate | Second Empire | Queen Anne Revival | Romanesque Revival | Beaux Arts | Chateau | Foursquare House Design |







NEO-CLASSICAL c. 1810-1830

  • inspired by British Georgian designs
  • balanced proportions
  • low pitched roof
  • centrally located door with semi-elliptical or fanlight door transom
  • often includes classically detailed pediment and columns
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Maritime Vernacular House 1830s-1900

  • New England antecedents
  • usually 1 1/2 storey wood, brick or stone structure with almost square plan
  • centred doorway with transom
  • small plain dormers or Scottish 5-sided dormers or large tringular dormer integrated into roof line
  • unadorned exterior with minimal trim
  • shingled or clapboard exterior
  • extension added to rear or side
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CLASSIC AND GREEK REVIVAL c. 1830s-1860s

  • emphasis on straight line and symmetry
  • 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 storeys
  • medium or steeply pitched gable roof or hip roof
  • often featuring central pedimented porch [portico]
  • centre door accented by rectangular transom and sidelights
  • popular designs include temple-fronted buildings
  • another popular design is front gable plan. With this design, the house is placed on short-side facing street and the door is off centre because of narrow width of plan. Popular for narrow street frontages favoured by developing towns and cities.
  • decorative classical features include dentils, return eaves, pilasters, flat or pedimented hoods over windows
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GOTHIC REVIVAL c. 1850 to 1870

  • emphasis on vertical line
  • main objective is visual effect rather than balance and symmetry
  • one and a half storey
  • pointed arched windows and door openings are dominating features
  • sharply pitched roofs with numerous gables
  • use of decorative "gingerbread" wood trim on veranda [treillage] or vergeboards along eaves. Much trim was mass produced by machine.
  • gothic or modified gothic with ell and front porch continued to be used in rural Canada into the 1890s.
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ITALIANATE c. 1850S TO 1870S

  • two-storeys high
  • blocky and square in appearance
  • often includes square tower or projecting central section [frontispiece]
  • low pitched hip roof
  • wide eaves with prominent decorative brackets
  • round-headed window and door openings as decorative accents
  • often features veranda and cupola which crowns main structure
  • details of style used in both rural and urban houses and commercial buildings well into 20th century
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SECOND EMPIRE c. 1860s to 1880s

  • mansard roof which permits full use of top floor space and eliminates sloping ceilings of gable roof
  • irregular building outline
  • sometimes includes decorative iron cresting on roof tops
  • sometimes features projecting centre towers and one or second storey bay windows
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QUEEN ANNE REVIVAL c. 1885 to 1900

  • eclectic and asymmetrical in outline
  • steep roof and tall chimneys
  • two or more storeys high
  • often includes two-storey bays
  • circular tower usually offset with candle-snuffer peaked roof
  • often includes prominent projecting or eyebrow dormers
  • shaped verandah
  • façade, especially front gable, covered in variety of contrasting decorative shingle patterns
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ROMANESQUE REVIVAL, BEAUX ARTS AND CHATEAU c. 1880-1910



Romanesque Revival



Beaux Arts



Chateau

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FOURSQUARE HOUSE DESIGN c. 19O0-1930

  • emphasis on solidity and balance
  • square in plan
  • two storeys high
  • pyramidal hipped roof
  • usually includes columned veranda
  • front dormer
  • sometimes features large off-centre doorway
  • most popular form of the foursquare was the "Eastbourne" which was available in pre-cut form

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GLOSSARY OF COMMON ARCHITECTURAL TERMS

BAY
a section of a structure usually containing a door or a window

BARGEBOARDS
see vergeboards

BAY WINDOW
a projection from a wall containing a window

BELLCAST
an eave or roof that flares out and is bell-shaped

BELT COURSE
decorative horizontal band on building, usually composed of projecting and/or contrasting stone or brick

BOOMTOWN ARCHITECTURE
style of architecture characteristic of frontier towns that were built quickly. A typical feature is the false front which conceals a more modest structure

BRACKET
ornamental support for roof cornice, or arch or entablature

BUTTRESS
a vertical structure of heavy masonry or wood applied as reinforcement to the wall of a building. Can serve a structural or decorative purpose

CAPITAL
the decorative head of a vertical support such as a column or pilaster

CHANCEL
the sanctuary area in a church, near the altar, used by the clergy and choir

CLAPBOARD
thin wood plank siding applied horizontally, one overlapping the next

COLONNADE
a row of columns usually supporting the base of the roof structure

CORNICE
a moulded projection at the top of the wall (interior or exterior) of a building, or arch or window

CUPOLA
small domed windowed structure on top of a roof or dome, sometimes lantern-shaped

DENTILS
tooth-like projections in a cornice

DORMERS
window set in a gable projecting from sloping roof. Frequently admits light into bedroom; the word "dormer" is derived from the French verb meaning "to sleep".

DRIP MOULDING
a projecting moulding, usually above a window, that is designed to allow rainwater to "drip"

EAVES
underside of roof projection

ELL
an extension usually at right angles to one end of a building

ENTABLATURE
a horizontal component usually decorated that lies directly above a column or other support

FACADE
front of a building

FANLIGHT
fan-shaped (semi-circular or elliptical) window which usually forms part of door unit

FASCIA
a plain horizontal band

FINIAL
a vertical ornament usually applied to the peak of dormer

GABLE
triangular top portion of an end wall where there is a sloping roof

GABLED ROOF
a roof that slopes on two sides

GALLERY long porch across a facade

GINGERBREAD
decorative woodwork

HIPPED ROOF
a roof that slopes on four sides

HOOD
a moulding located above a window or door to deflect rainwater

LANCET
a sharply pointed Gothic arch or window

LINTEL
horizontal support at top of door or window

MANSARD ROOF
a roof with double slopes; the lower part is nearly vertical and the upper part has a very low pitch. Named after the 17th-century French architect François Mansart.

MULLION
thin divisions that demarcate panes in windows or doors

NAVE
the section of church that accommodates the congregation

OGEE
a double curve, usually used to describe an arch, window or moulding

ORIEL
a rounded or multi-sided projecting window

PARAPET
a portion of the wall that projects above a roof

PEDIMENT
triangular component, inspired by classical temples, used above doors and/or windows, or on gable ends or building facades

PILASTERS
flattened column-like feature set against corners of house for stability or decoration. Also called "corner" boards.

PORTICO
porch with columns and pediment

QUOIN
a protruding stone or brick that accentuates an exterior corner. Sometimes simulated on frame structures to look like stone.

RUSTICATED
heavily textured or rough-surfaced stone-work

RETURN EAVES
a moulding, which extends from eaves and continues around the corner of the house to simulate a partial pediment

ROUNDEL
a circular component usually applied to windows or panels

SASH
the frame that holds the glass in a window

SHUTTER
solid or slatted window cover located on building interior or exterior

SIDELIGHT
a window beside the door, forming part of the door unit

String Course
see Belt Course

TRANSOM
horizontal window above doorway

TREILLAGE
a lattice or trellis, often used for growing vines and climbing plants

TURRET
an ornamental tower projecting from a larger structure

VERANDAH
covered porch

VERGEBOARDS
decorative trim along gable ends of a roof or dormer. Sometimes called "bargeboards".

VERNACULAR
structures, built without the help of a professional architect, which reflect regional and cultural adaptations of architectural fashions.




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