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Guide to British architecture styles part 2 - Georgian and Regency architecture

Guide to British architecture styles part 2 - Georgian and Regency architecture

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Date: 02/10/2012

We believe that the creation of architecture is something which comes with great responsibility. An awareness of environment, aesthetics and history is absolutely key to the success of any building work, be it a dominating skyscraper or the addition of a conservatory to an existing property.

That’s why, at Everest, we pay close attention to the context of our work, doing all we can to understand the spaces with which we work. Here, we take a look at some characteristically British styles of architecture, noting their defining features and historical significance.

Georgian architecture

Georgian buildings are some of the most subtly beautiful and quintessentially British in the world. By and large, Georgian architecture is relatively simple – understated and yet powerful. Whilst the shapes of most Georgian buildings were simple, decoration would come down to smaller features. Embellished cornices would offer a property a sense of grandeur, displaying unique and dedicated workmanship.

Symmetry was key to design, with the majority of Georgian homes being designed as ‘double-fronted': implying that an equal number of windows would straddle the doorway in equal proportion. The centred doors would typically be substantial and panelled.

Those who recognise similarities between Georgian architecture and that of ancient Rome and Greece are astute. In fact, these similarities tie in well with the British embrace of Classicism during that time.

The Georgian homes of British Aristocrats at the time were a dedication to classical way of life and great examples of this architectural style can still be seen in cities such as Bath.

Regency architecture

Regency buildings are not far removed from Georgian architecture in terms of design but there are a few notable differences. Typically, Regency buildings would be more elegant and would opt for a pale finish, rather than the traditional brick which would be seen on most Georgian properties.

The most prominent example of Regency architecture which remains in Britain today can be seen in Brighton and Hove. The seafront parade is still home to a number of large and elegant properties which epitomise Regency design.

Key features to be recognised are wrought iron balconies, large sash windows and the use of columns in porches. Although Regency properties would commonly be built as terraces or crescents, each separate property would be colossal in size.

Today, Regency properties are nearly always divided into smaller flats or hotel accommodation to make better use of such grand spaces.