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Architectural Styles

Arts & Crafts Style: a style originating in 19th century England which emphasized hand-crafted traditional designs. The Arts & Crafts movement was a reaction to industrialization that sought originality and simplicity.

Art Deco Style: a style popular during the 1920s and 30s. Used colourful geometric and naturalistic motifs for decoration and was generally formal and angular in design. Art Deco was an amalgam of numerous styles including neoclassicism, modernism and art nouveau. It emphasized the use of man-made materials in construction.

Art Nouveau: a style of decoration in architecture and applied art developed toward the end of the 19th and early 20th century. Art Nouveau is characterized by organized and dynamic forms, floral motifs, curving design, and whiplash lines. Some of its features include parabolas in the windows, arches and doors. Buildings are based on asymmetry complimented by decorative surfaces.

Beaux-Arts Style: a classically-inspired style originating at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. Monumental in scale and formal in design, this style was particularly suited to and popular for government and bank buildings. Principle characteristics include symmetry, hierarchy of spaces, obvious references to historical styles, use of balustrades, pilasters and sculptures

Chicago Commercial Style: an architectural style developed in Chicago around the turn of the 20th century. It is specific to tall office buildings and having distinctive “Chicago” windows – a 3 part window consisting of one large panel flanked by two smaller sash windows. The Chicago style promoted the use of steel construction highlighted by neoclassical architectural influences. A building was typically at least five storeys in height.

Classical Revival Style (Neoclassical): a style inspired by ancient Greek and Roman buildings. It is characterized by form and symmetry; uses elements such as columns and pilasters. The neoclassical style incorporates several different styles as opposed to maintaining one distinct style.

Collegiate Gothic Style: a style popular for educational buildings in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was based on the tradition of medieval English colleges such as Oxford and Cambridge.

Craftsman Bungalow: a one-storey house, or a multi-storey house with a roof sloping towards the front and back, with details which are, or appear to be, handcrafted or rustic. This movement emphasized craftsmanship, simplicity of form and local natural materials. It was a reaction to Victorian opulence idealized by a growing a middle class during the early 20th century.

Edwardian Classical Revival Style: the style of Classical Revival architecture popular during the reign of King Edward VII (1901-1910). This movement was inspired by 18th century French architecture and the work of Sir Christopher Wren. Some of its features include heavily rusticated basements, roman arches, mansard roofs, dormer windows and colonnades.

Foursquare Style: a house with cubic proportions, a pyramidal roof and classically-inspired details. The Foursquare style shared many characteristics of Prairie architecture pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright. A foursquare home is typically two and a half storeys complete with a full-width porch.

Gothic Revival Style: a style based on the building forms of the Middle Ages in Western Europe, often recognized by the use of pointed Gothic arches ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, ornate detailing and steeply pitched gable roofs. This movement began in the mid 18th century in England as a reaction to the classical styles so prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival is often associated with grand cathedrals, abbeys and churches across Europe.

Italianate Style: originally developed in 1802 in Britain and further popularized by architect Sir Charles Baum during the 1830s. Italianate, as the name suggests, draws heavily on buildings built during the Italian Renaissance. Some of the main features include flat roofs, imposing cornice structures, angled bay windows and Belvedere towers.

Moderne Style: a streamlined style popular in the 1930s and 1940s characterized by rounded corners, smooth walls and geometric motifs. Moderne style is known for its simplification of form and the elimination of ornament. The basic tenet behind the moderne style is that form follows function.

Queen Anne Style: an eclectic late-Victorian style with varied half-timbered rooflines, rich detailing, and generally vertical proportions. It is heavily influenced by Tudor styles and was popularized by the architect Richard Norman Shaw. Queen Anne has been described by many architects as an eccentric and elaborate style most noted by the consistent use of asymmetry.

Renaissance Revival: this style is loosely based on designs of the Italian High Renaissance and features symmetry, bold cornices, ornamented window openings, and rusticated masonry in the ground floors. Often feature expensive materials to create an elaborate style typically reserved for large commercial buildings or mansions.

Richardson Romanesque: a style developed by American architect H.H. Richardson; round arches, heavy forms and course textures and reminiscent of the Romanesque style.

Romanesque Revival: A style employed in the 19th century inspired by 11th and 12th century Romanesque works. Its features include heavy stonework, round-arched windows, belt courses and asymmetry. The use of masonry is also quite common. Romanesque Revival is frequently used in the construction of courthouses and university campus buildings.

Second Empire Style: a style originating in France in the late 19th century. Mansard roofs are a characteristic feature.

Tudor Revival Style: a style of architecture characterized by half-timbering, flattened (pointed) Gothic arches, shallow mouldings, steeply pitched roofs and extensive panelling. It was popular among suburban homes in the 1920s; loosely based on late medieval styles. Tudor Revival can also be referred to as English Cottage or Jacobethan. The Tudor Revival Style started as a reaction to the ornate Victorian Gothic style and emphasized simple, rustic and modest aspects of Tudor architecture.

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