Victorian style architecture: characteristics of architectural masterpieces. The Victorian era

the reign of Queen Victoria in Britain is one of the most significant and even revolutionary. The second half of the 19th century was a time of rapid transformation in all spheres of life of the British, and this could not be reflected in the architecture. Will talk about what is Victorian style in architecture, what is its specificity and what its options are available.

History era

In 1837 the throne British Empire rose, the young Queen Victoria. She has endured various tests, it stayed in power for 60 years and was able to make the country prosperous, civilized. Victorian era (years - from 1837 to 1901) is not a uniform period of history. At this time, had the rapid development of industry, culture, economy. Britain over the years has completely changed their lifestyle, their mentality. The country becomes one of the most powerful empires of the world, increasing its influence in Asia and Africa. In the last years of the reign of Victoria begins a slowdown, but many of the achievements of that era are still important to modern Britain. Queen Victoria was an active promoter of strict morality, which is perhaps the main sign of this period. It is also considered an important technological upgrading and development of culture. Therefore, the period witnessed the flourishing of English literature and architecture.

Victorian culture

features of the reign of Queen Victoria is the absence of wars and technological boom. The British are becoming quite a wealthy nation, and a growing middle class is the main engine of social development. The period witnessed the active development of education, there is such a phenomenon as tourism, there is a new way of thinking the inhabitants of the Empire. Following the example of their Queen, the British practiced a strict and conservative moral views, they fosteriana fun and hardworking, and all this is yet another reason for the economic growth of the country. A new worldview becomes the basis for breakthrough in the art. The ideological basis of the Victorian became the alloy of utilitarianism and evangelism. Not the last role in the culture has played in English literature. C. Dickens, W. Thackeray, K. Doyle, the Bronte sisters – it's typical of the authors of the time. The visual concept of the era embody the pre-Raphaelites. Of particular importance to world architecture takes on Victorian style architecture. The British at that time paid great attention to its housing. Therefore, the architecture and decorationsto be a very important part of the new lifestyle.

General features of the architecture of the Victorian era

the Term "Victorian style" of trying to identify a huge period of time, which is characterized by strong heterogeneity. Therefore, in the strict architectural sense, there is no such unified phenomenon. In English-speaking countries of that era was dominated by an eclectic retrospect was United under a somewhat similar, but still independent fields. This Italian-style, neo-Gothic style during the Second Empire, Indo-saraninskiy style and other varieties.
Architecture of the Victorian era imbued with practicality, like all culture, and the eclecticism. Her inherent traits such as a compound of elements from different historical periods. The building was carried out with the use of a large number of details, saturated colors, carvings on the facade. Towers, balconies, friezes, and gabled roofs, numerous Windows of different sizes, terraces, high entrances with a porch, an abundance of textures and decor-everything is Victorian.

Periodization of Victorian architecture

the So-called Victorian style in architecture arises as a response to the previous eras – georgenstr and style Queen Anne who was remarkable for austerity and restraint. In the architecture of the times of Queen Victoria is traditionally divided into three major periods:
1. Early (1835-1855). This is the period of neostyles tendency to historicism. At this time there are options with the prefix neo - of such famous styles as Gothic, Rococo, Moorish, Byzantine, Chinese.
2. Average (1855-1870). At this time, the heyday of the movement pre-Raphaelite artist William Morris. In this period there is a return to the values of uniqueness and handmade in contrast to the early period when it was dominated by things mass production. Again, the main value recognized individuality.
3. Late (1870-1901). This period is also called the Victorian Renaissance. There has been a rethinking of the traditions of Baroque, Gothic. Architects Tudor recall and use in new buildings some of the techniques of the era from the 16th century.

Gothic revival

In architecture around the world after the era of “big" styles, has experienced periodic treatment to certain traditions of architecture, did not escape such “returns” and England. The 19th century, especially its second half, – it's time to rethink and unusual reading techniques and solutions from different styles and eras. In 40-ies of the 19th century, England was swept by a wave of neo-Gothic style. Lancet Windows, spires and turrets, arches in the spirit of the middle Ages become extremely popular. Moreover, various elements of the medieval churches are now actively used to make residential and commercial buildings. In England during the reign of Queen Victoria was erected many buildings in the Gothic revival style. The most famous among them are the London Parliament with the famous clock tower big Ben, the complex of the Royal court in London, like a fairy-tale medieval Palace, and the brightest of the St. Pancras station of red brick. This style was so popular in the Victorian era that sometimes these two terms synonymities.

Italian Victorian

the Era of Queen Victoria is characterized by eclectic architecture, which seeks to connect the parts of different styles and national peculiarities. At this time gaining popularity of the Italian style, it is especially well manifested in residential architecture, country houses in the United States. Its main features are low, broad roof of the colonnade, arches, Roman pediments, and rich decor of the facades. This style was ideally suited to design houses that built the middle class in the province and the suburbs of London.

Style of the Second Empire

the French culture and architecture from different periods had a significant influence on world architecture. Are unable to avoid this influence and England, 19th century which was a time of enchantment the Empire, the so-called Second Empire. Despite the complicated relationship English and French cultures in the period from 1855 to 1885, the British pay tribute to the architecture of the time of Napoleon the Third. The main feature of this style is the mansard roof, which was considered very functional, and high, narrow door and the large curved window. The style lasted in England for long and was mainly used for the decoration of public buildings and apartment houses.

Style in the reign of Queen Anne

the reign of Queen Anne – beginning of the 18th century. It was the heyday of English Baroque, with his passion for wealth and luxury decor. Architectural masterpieces of that time were redefined in the days of Queen Victoria. The main ideologist of the Renaissance style of Queen Anne was the architect Richard Norman Shaw, his efforts in England there were many houses, which became a real classic British architecture. These include building the "Swan" at Chelsea, the first apartment building in the area of the albert Hall, a few houses on St. James street, most of the buildings of the suburb Bedford Park, lots of houses in different parts of the UK and also in New Zealand and in India.

Romanesque style

Architectural style the Victorian era was trying to find a new interpretation of the finds of the architects of former times. In the late 19th century, the architects remembered the ancient Roman tradition of constructing churches and castles 11th-12th century. In Victorian times brutal buildings of stone were primarily created for human habitation or for public purposes. Later Henry Hobson Richardson actively promoted this style in residential construction in the US. Main features steel concise, monumentality and integrity. Substantial houses with towers made of grey stone very loved by the representatives of the emerging bourgeoisie.

popular style

the national (folk) Victorian style in architecture has become an organic combination of old English traditions for the construction of houses for families of workers and at the time the new technologies. So there were houses, decorated with wood siding or wooden tiles (shingles). This style is the most developed and received a huge spread in the architecture of the United States. Immigrants from Britain wanted to build in a new land a piece of old England, and there was a large wooden house with turrets, balconies, terraces and cornices. Cheap materials allowed working families to separate houses and to get closer to the middle class standard of living.


In the age of Victoria, especially the late period, the architects sought to find new combinations of elements of different styles. So at the junction of the Gothic style in the reign of Queen Anne appears the stick – a kind of half-timbered construction. Architecture as the art of combining old traditions and new technologies sought to find new solutions for a beautiful and comfortable home. Home-style stick almost entirely built of wood frame technology. But to simplify and reduce the cost of construction is mainly used rack and pinion technology. This style is more widespread in the United States.

Indo-Saracenic style

the architecture of the British not only sought to interpret the styles of European architecture, but also turned their attention to the national traditions of the colonies. So in British India were Indo-Saracenic style, which the colonialists wanted to show their continuity with respect to the indigenous rulers of the country. The British erected luxurious palaces, residences, stylized constructions of Mughals. This tradition was readily picked up by the local aristocracy, which began to build in this pseudo-national style of their palaces. Later the motives of Indian and Saracenic architecture began in residential construction, especially homes for the provincial middle class in Britain and the United States.