Victorian architecture does not refer to a specific design style, but rather refers to the “era” or era in which Queen Victoria ruled Britain from 1837 to 1901, a period described as the height of the Empire, although Victorian architecture started in England and its characteristics are still largely evident in the architecture of their cities and towns, their influence expanded far and wide, reaching places such as Australia, New Zealand and North America, where different countries and regions adapted them has to suit local tastes, lifestyle, and building materials.
The Industrial Revolution
The Victorian interior design was the result of the Industrial Revolution, as the reign of Queen Victoria coincided with the emergence of this revolution, which facilitated the growth of production, the expansion of the middle class and the increase in wealth. an era of innovation and creativity in various fields. Only a luxury reserved for the rich is only for a hobby that the middle class and ordinary people can practice and participate in. Homes were built in this era to include people from different social classes and at different levels of income, starting with homes arranged in narrow rows overlooking crowded, narrow streets without gardens or health facilities. Up to the detached and semi-detached houses that originated at the end of the era were equipped with modern amenities, such as hot and cold water, sewer and gas connections.
Innovations in building techniques, diversity in the materials used, and mass production with the ability to transport by rail, saved construction time and helped cause a housing boom during the 1850s and 1870s, which saw the construction of Victorian buildings in large numbers. . Building materials such as e.g. machine-made bricks spread in new ways and slabs.The gray Welsh ceiling and glass panes used in the 1930s increased the size of the windows compared to earlier periods.
Victorian-era architecture spanned more than 60 years, a relatively long period that made it difficult to define it in a single design style. Convergent periods, including Neo-Gothic or Victorian Gothic, Greek Renewal, Schengel, Victorian People, Second Empire, Neo-Romantic, Italian and late-era Queen Anne.
Before the Victorian era, the Georgian-style buildings were established, distinguished by both symmetry and Renaissance-style interiors, with several small windows and limited decoration. .
But Victorian architecture rejected previous styles in favor of a style that reflected the growth of certain social classes that expressed modern luxury discovered through the design of overly ornate luxury buildings with bright colors. The over-distribution of decorative elements has been seen by most Victorian families as a sign of refined taste.
Architecture in the Victorian era is characterized by an exaggerated love of ornamentation. It reflects in its architecture and interior design the sense of abundance that grew in that period. The buildings are decorated with ornaments and their interiors are decorated with luxurious and ornate furniture as everything in this style is decorated, even the gables, cornices and capital letters of the outer surface.
The buildings consisted of two to three storeys, built with ordinary or colored bricks, with an asymmetrical design. Their large sliding windows were preceded by folding balconies with painted iron balustrades and small gardens. The roofs were very steep, also known as “mansard roofs”. “, and their gables are decorated and finished with capital letters on the roof in a style Churches, as distinguished by octagonal or round towers specially designed to draw the eye upwards.
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Victorian houses are painted in shades of dark gemstones such as burgundy, emerald green and navy blue with earth tones such as dark brown, some are distinguished by monochromatic colors while others are distinguished by contrast, and dark and saturated were typical of Victorians, especially in townhouses, and this choice has had nothing to do with philosophy or psychology. Colors are so closely related to necessity, as the rampant pollution in the city would stain the light walls. These grades were a useful option in that period, according to the building mechanism that relied on coal, but in later periods the colors became brighter and a variety of pastel shades became popular.
Intricate interior design
Victorian interiors were intricate, crowded, decorated and laminated, described as eccentric. Interiors of Victorian homes often included large staircases, high ceilings, hardwood floors, stained glass windows, fireplaces, and ornately carved wood paneling.
Furniture came into the early and mid-Victorian era with curved edges and spirals, similar to its French counterpart in the 18th century, while in the later period, upholstered furniture inspired by Oriental designs became popular, and it also tended to be overly ornamental. to be.
Curtains were also the preferred choice for Victorian windows because of their ability to give a more luxurious look.It was made of extravagant and heavy material lined with silk or wool, then folded and hung on gilded curtain rods to double the feeling of luxury.
As for the walls, wallpaper was used on a large scale in almost all parts of the house at the beginning of the Victorian era, and was mostly in red, blue or green with brown shades, and then in a later period made way for other patterns such as e.g. as leaves and distributed earth tones in line with Gothic style that was common at the time.
The lighting was mostly wall lights and candles, in addition to the decorative lamps that occupied a prominent place in the latter half of the Victorian movement.
Victorian houses and buildings built around the world can be clearly distinguished, but perhaps the most famous and important of all, the Palace of Westminster on the Thames in London, built by Sir Charles Barry after the Great Fire of 1834, this building is a perfect example of its heyday Victorian designs with its heavily decorated façade and tyrannical Gothic architecture with a church-like finish, as well as the famous Big Ben bell tower.
Another well-known example is the late 19th or early 20th century Painted Ladies Buildings in Alamo Square in San Francisco, USA, a mass of brightly colored Victorian houses that form a large part of San Francisco’s rich architectural history. Where tourists from all over the world come to take photos, and its exterior is decorated with three or more colors to highlight its decorative architectural features, and it was repainted in the sixties to emphasize its architectural details, and although the multicolored decoration was popular in the Victorian era, the colors used in These houses are not based on any similar historical precedent.