Victorian architecture does not refer to a specific design style, but rather refers to the “era” or era in which Queen Victoria ruled Great Britain from 1837 to 1901, a period described as the height of the Empire, although Victorian architecture began in England and its characteristics are still largely evident in the architecture of their cities and towns, their influence has spread far and wide, reaching places such as Australia, New Zealand and North America, where different countries and regions have adapted them to match local taste, lifestyle, and building materials.
The Industrial Revolution
Victorian interior design was the product of the Industrial Revolution, as the reign of Queen Victoria coincided with the rise of this revolution, which facilitated the growth of production, the expansion of the middle class, and the increase in wealth. It was an era of innovation and creativity in various fields. Just a luxury reserved for the rich only for a hobby that the middle class and common people can pursue and participate in. The houses in this era were built around people of different social classes and at different levels of income, starting with houses arranged in narrow rows overlooking crowded, narrow streets without gardens or health facilities. To the detached and semi-detached houses that appeared at the end of the era, was equipped with modern facilities, such as hot and cold water, sewage and gas connections.
Innovations in building techniques, diversity in the materials used and mass production with the possibility of rail transport saved construction time and helped spark a housing boom during the 1850s and 1870s, which saw the construction of Victorian buildings in large numbers. Building materials such as 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.
Architecture in the Victorian era spanned more than 60 years, a relatively long period of time that made it difficult to define it in a single design style. Convergent periods, including Neo-Gothic or Victorian Gothic, Greek Revival, Schengel, Victorian Folk, Second Empire, Neo-Romantic, Italianate, and late-era Queen Anne.
Before the Victorian era, the buildings were established in the Georgian style, which was 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 extravagantly decorated luxury buildings with bright colors. The over-proliferation of decorative elements was seen by most Victorian families as a sign of good 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 also decorated with luxurious and ornate furniture. Everything in this style is decorated, even the gables, cornices and capitals of the outer surface.
The buildings consisted of two to three floors, built with plain or colored bricks, with an asymmetrical design, with large sliding windows, preceded by wraparound balconies with painted iron balustrades, and small gardens.Churches, as distinguished by octagonal or round towers specially designed to draw the eye upwards.
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Victorian houses were painted in shades of dark gems such as burgundy, emerald green and dark blue with earth tones such as dark brown, some are distinguished by monochromatic colors while others are distinguished by contrast, dark and saturated colors were typical of Victorians, especially in town houses, 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 degrees represented a useful option in that period according to the construction mechanism based on coal, but in later periods the colors became brighter and a variety of pastel shades became common.
Intricate interior design
Victorian interiors were intricate, crowded, ornate, layered and described as eccentric. Victorian home interiors often included grand staircases, high ceilings, hard carpeting, stained glass windows, fireplaces and ornately carved wood paneling.
Furniture came in the early and mid-Victorian era with curved and spiral edges, similar to its French counterpart in the 18th century, while stuffed furniture inspired by Oriental designs became popular in the later period, and it also tended to be excessively ornamental. be.
Draperies were also the preferred choice for Victorian windows because of their ability to give a more luxurious look. They were made from lavish and heavy fabrics lined with silk or wool, then folded and hung from gilded curtain rods to double the sense of luxury. .
As for the walls, at the beginning of the Victorian era, wallpaper was widely used in almost all parts of the house, mostly in red, blue or green with shades of brown, and then in a later period gave way to other patterns like leaves and spread earth colors in line with Gothic style prevalent at the time.
The lighting was mostly sconces and candles, in addition to the decorative lamps that took a prominent place in the latter half of the Victorian movement.
We can clearly distinguish Victorian style houses and buildings built around the world, but perhaps the most famous and important of all, the Palace of Westminster on the River 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 facade and tyrannical Gothic style with a church-like finish, as well as the famous Big Ben clock tower.
Another famous example is the late 19th or early 20th century Painted Ladies Buildings in the Alamo Square neighborhood of San Francisco, USA, a mass of brightly colored Victorian houses that form a large part of San Francisco’s rich architectural history. Which 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 1960s to emphasize its architectural details, and although the multi-colored decoration was popular in the Victorian era, the colors used in These Houses are not based on any similar historical precedent.