American architecture
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American Architecture. Colonial Architecture. Developed from European style of Middle Ages and Renaissance. Colonies eventually adapted European influences to suit tastes and needs. Built structures with resources that were available.

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Colonial architecture l.jpg
Colonial Architecture

  • Developed from European style of Middle Ages and Renaissance.

  • Colonies eventually adapted European influences to suit tastes and needs.

  • Built structures with resources that were available.

  • Spanish colonies (southwest America) built adobe structures.

    • Combined American Indian and Spanish architectural styles.

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Architectural Adaptation

  • When Europeans settled in North America, they brought with them architectural traditions and their construction techniques.

  • Northern colonists built wooden houses, designed to withstand cold winters.

    • Most houses were small, easily heated with small rooms.

  • Houses usually had sloping roofs to shed snow.

  • New York mainly Dutch at time.

    • Followed architectural styles from Netherlands.

    • Built houses with wooden shudders.

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Spanish Influence

  • Pueblo people built houses of adobe, a sun-dried clay brick.

    • Held together with exposed wooden beams.

  • Decorated houses with balconies of wrought iron.

  • Adobe churches with rectangular nave, exterior buttresses, and two symmetric towers.

  • Finely worked columns that serve only as ornamentation.

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English Influence

  • Architecture of the thirteen colonies is marked by the English style.

  • Climatic and religious differences produced some American elements.

  • Central position of the fireplace is reflective of the heating needs of the winter.

    • Covered with clapboard and uses wood for the frame, two characteristics typically American.

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Georgian Style

  • Appeared during the 18th century.

  • Characterized by proportion and balance; simple mathematical ratios to determine the height of a window in relation to its width.

  • Respects principle of symmetry and uses the materials that are found in New England:

    • Red brick, white painted wood, and blue slate used for roof.

    • Style is used to build houses of plantation workers and the rich merchants living on Atlantic coast

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Public Architecture

  • English influences continue to mark the buildings constructed.

  • Buildings of these new federal and judicial institutions adopted the classic architecture characteristics:

    • Columns

    • Domes

    • Reference to ancient Rome and Greece.

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The Industrial Revolution

  • Began in Great Britain during 1700’s.

  • Spread to North America in early 1800’s.

  • For centuries, architects focused mainly on churches, castles, palaces and country housing.

  • Revolution required factories, railroad stations, warehouses, & office buildings.

    • Required new methods for new structures.

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Industrial Effects

  • Early 1800’s greatly affected development of architecture.

    • Rapid growth of industrialization.

  • Industrial Revolution created demand for architects.

    • New types of buildings.

    • New construction techniques.

  • Many architects revived styles from past.

    • Greek Revival, Gothic Revival.

  • Many combined two or more styles into one.

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Industrial Revolution

  • Success of the Great Exhibition in London brought fairs to U.S.

  • Crystal Palace Exhibition housed in revolutionary glass and iron structure.

  • Similar special facilities such as the Crystal Palace had opportunity to be built.

  • Architects designed new structures and new idea.

    • Led to the influence of skyscrapers.

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Early Modern American

  • Henry Richardson first important architect in U.S.

    • Included Modern Architecture elements in designs.

    • Worked with medieval styles, especially Romanesque.

    • Wanted to simplify exterior ornamentation.

  • Designed Glessner House and Marshall Field & Company in Chicago.

  • Chicago became center for Modern Architecture in the U.S.

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Early Modern American

  • After Great Chicago Fire, architects were able to test new ideas for new city.

  • First metal frame skyscraper

    • 10-story Home Insurance Building.

    • Steel frame supported building.

    • Walls provided no support but curtains.

      • Steel frame and curtain wall began basic to modern design.

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Slick Style

  • "Stick Style" is one American method of house construction that uses wooden rod truss work.

  • Buildings are topped by high roofs with steep slopes.

  • Design is asymmetrical and the interior space is more open.

  • The exterior is not bare of decoration.

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Shingle Style

  • Replaced “Slick Style”

  • Characterized by simplicity and the attention to comfort.

  • Simplification of the volumes and the exterior decoration.

    • Continuous wood shingles on siding and roof

    • Irregular roof line.

    • Asymmetrical floor plan

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Four-square Architecture

  • Foursquare reconfigured American city neighborhoods in the 1890's.

  • Theme is the most evident design to a traveler passing through suburbs.

  • Built to be simple.

    • Typical house was either 30x30 feet, or 30x36 feet, for deeper lots.

    • 2.5 stories with four (more or less equally-sized) rooms on each full floor.

    • Hipped roof.

    • Porch spanned the entire, or nearly, front of the house

    • Exterior walls were plain.

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  • Most notable innovation in U.S. architecture.

  • Safety elevator made skyscrapers possible.

  • Load bearing stone walls mainly made impossible for skyscrapers greater than 20 stories.

  • Steel support frame began to be used.

  • Most are boxy looking.

  • Postmodernists feel skyscrapers should no longer be box-like.

  • Began use of contours and bold decoration.