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Georgian Architecture – Important Characteristics and Examples

Georgian Architecture(1714-1830) was prevalent in English-speaking countries. It is named after the first four British Monarchs of the house of Hanover – George I, George II, George III, and George IV.

Highly variable in nature, this style is based on the classical architecture of Greece and Rome. Ornamentation is either minimal or completely absent. The Georgian style is characterized by symmetry, balance, and proportion. Simple mathematical ratios were calculated to determine the size of a window in relation to the shape of the room.

Characteristics/Features of Georgian Architecture

  • Minimal Ornament
  • Axial Symmetry
  • Proportion
  • Stepped facades
  • Façade Symmetry
  • Town homes
  • Terraced Housing
  • Construction with brick
  • Use of stone quoins
  • Sash windows
  • Classical proportions
  • Regularity of house fronts

Prominent Type of Buildings In Georgian Architecture

  • Houses
  • Churches
  • Public Buildings

Examples of Georgian Architecture

1. Bedford Square

Georgian Architecture
Image source: en.wikipedia.org
  • Building: Bedford Square
  • Function/Use: Residential area
  • Location: London, England
  • Date of construction: 1775-83
  • Architect: Thomas Leverton
  • Historical InfluenceNeoclassical Architecture
  • Key Features: Terraced housing
  • Materials Used: Brick, blocked stone, decorative plaster ceiling
  • Façade: One of the significant characteristics of Georgian architecture is the terrace housing, which is a perfect example of the design of Bedford Square. The facades at Bedford Square are repetitive and moderate, with stone arches marking individual entrances. Terraced housing is a concept whereby a row of attached dwellings shares a common wall, often in three stories.

2. Westover Plantation

Georgian Architecture
Image source: flickr.com
  • Building: Westover Plantation
  • Function/Use: Farmhouse/Mansion house, A plantation complex
  • Location: Charles City County, Virginia
  • Date of construction: 1730 – 1750
  • Historical InfluenceNeoclassical Architecture
  • Key Features: National Historic Landmark
  • Façade: The Westover Plantation is remarkable for its architectural details in Georgian style, secret passages as well as magnificent gardens. It refers to as a colonial tidewater plantation. A three-story structure with its wings on either side stands as an elegant architectural masterpiece with its simple form, symmetry, and proportion. Special attention can be visualized in the unusual steepness of the roof, the acute elaborate doorway that stands as a focal point, and the chimneys that elevate on either side.

3. Royal Crescent

Georgian Architecture
Image source: en.wikipedia.org
Image source: countrylife.co.uk
  • Building: Royal Crescent
  • Function/Use: Houses
  • Location: Bath, Somerset, England
  • Date of construction: 1767-1774
  • Architect: John Wood, The Younger
  • Historical Influence: Neoclassical Architecture, Palladian Style
  • Key Features: Symmetrical curved Crescent
  • Materials Used: Bath stone, slate roofs, cast Iron railings, pennant stone
  • Façade: The Royal Crescent is a fine example of Georgian Urbanism with a single row of 30 terraced houses arranged in a symmetrical sweeping crescent. The structure is 150m long and 50m high, which includes 114 engaged Ionic columns on the first floor above a rusticated ground floor. An entablature in the Palladian style rests on the capitals of these Ionic columns. The columns and windows emphasize the façade, while the ground floor is plain.

4. Carlyle House

Georgian Architecture
Image source: theartpour.com
  • Building: Carlyle House
  • Function/Use: Mansion
  • Location: Alexandria, Virginia, US
  • Date of construction: 1751-53
  • Architect: John Carlyle, architect.
  • Historical Influence:  Neoclassical Architecture, Palladian Style
  • Key Features: Virginia Landmarks Register
  • Materials used: Stone
  • Façade: Built with stone, the house comprises three floors and is symmetrical with halls at the center, while each side is balanced with windows and a chimney(one on each side of the house). The façade is simple with bold details and quoins at the corners. The main entrance door is surrounded by block stone with a bold keystone above the round Transom window.

5. Isaac Meason House

Image source: en.wikipedia.org
  • Building: Isaac Meason House
  • Function/Use: Historic house
  • Location: Dunbar township, Pennsylvania, US,
  • Date of construction: 1802
  • Architect: Isaac Meason, Adam Wilson
  • Historical Influence: Neoclassical Architecture, Palladian Style
  • Key Features: National Historic Landmark, Sandstone façade, Symmetrical with a central Pediment
  • Materials Used: Sandstone, Ashlar
  • Façade: The Isaac Meason House is a typical example of Georgian Architecture in the United States. The 2.5-story structure built of sandstone façade with an ashlar finish predominantly rests on the top of a local hill. Indeed, the main entrance and symmetrical pediments mark the center with balance. With the main block at its center, two symmetrical single-story wings are flanked on either side.

6. William Morris Gallery

Image source: artfund.org
  • Building: William Morris Gallery
  • Function/Use: Museum
  • Location: Walthamstow, London, England
  • Date of construction: 1744-50
  • Architect: John Pringle, Penny Richards, and Ian Sharratt.
  • Historical Influence: Neoclassical Architecture, Palladian Style
  • Key Features: Georgian style elements, Semi-circular bays
  • Façade: The William Morris Gallery is dedicated to the works of William Morris who was an English Arts and crafts designer. The façade features a central rectangular block connecting with semi-circular bays on either side along with continuous horizontal banding above the ground floor as well as on the top floor. The front porch is framed with fluted Corinthian columns carved of wood.

7. Hyde Park Barracks

Image source: lsjarchitects.com
  • Building: Hyde Park Barracks
  • Function/Use: Previously hospital and courthouse, Now Museum and café
  • Location: New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • Date of construction: 1811 – 1819
  • Architect: Francis Greenway
  • Historical Influence: Neoclassical Architecture
  • Materials Used: Brick, Sandstone
  • Universal Value: UNESCO World Heritage List; Australian convict sites
  • Façade: The Hyde Park Barracks is a Georgian Style complex bounded by high walls on the South and western sides, while the north and eastern sides with structures. It comprises a Dormitory block, Courtyard, Northern and Eastern Perimeter structures as well as two weeping lillypillys in the corners. The main building is a three-story sand stock brick, gabled former convict barracks of Georgian style. It has sandstone foundations, sills, and string courses, while the pedimented gable is decorated by a shaped stone panel containing an early colonial clock. (From Wikipedia)

8. Baggot Street

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
  • Building: Baggot Street
  • Function/Use: Street
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Date of construction: 18th century
  • Historical Influence: Neoclassical Architecture
  • Key Features: Brick façade, terraced housing
  • Materials used: Stone and brickwork
  • Façade: Baggot street is named after Robert, Lord, Bagot who was given the Manor of Rath in the 13th century. It depicts a typical Georgian Architectural style with brick façade, terraced houses, and also other prominent elements.

9. Governor John Langdon’s House

Image source: encyclopediavirginia.org
  • Building: Governor John Langdon House
  • Function/Use: Historic Mansion, now a Historic Museum
  • Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States
  • Date of construction: 1742-1819
  • Historical Influence: Neoclassical Architecture
  • Key Features: National Historic Landmark
  • Façade: The Langdon house features five bays across, a primary entry, and four rooms on each floor which flanks a grand central hall and stairway. The main entrance grabs the attention with a large door flanked by pair of engaged columns on either side. It is also protected by a semi-circular portico supported by Corinthian columns. A balustrade rests on the patio, and one can see the beautiful views of nature. The façade is symmetrical about its vertical axis with windows, columns, and chimneys on either side as well as integrating with the sloped roof.
  • Interiors: Interiors were ornamented by elaborate wood carvings. Moreover, the use of high-quality woodwork dominates interior design.

10. Winfield House

Image source: wje.com
  • Building: Winfield House
  • Function/Use: English townhouse; Official residence of Unites States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
  • Location: Regent’s Park, London
  • Date of construction: 1936
  • Architect: Leonard Rome Guthrie
  • Historical Influence: Neoclassical Architecture
  • Key Features: Second largest private garden in London
  • Façade: Winfield house featured Numerous elements of Georgian architecture. It is situated within twelve acres of grounds set into Regent’s Park. Further, it includes a small front wood, sculpture garden, vegetable garden, formal garden, and tennis court, as well as an extensive lawn. The façade is symmetrical about its vertical axis. The central portion acts as a significant feature in the front façade along with three continuous arches surrounding respective windows. The dormer windows project from the roof which functions for ventilation purposes.

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